New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has proposed state legislation that would give school districts or school chiefs—as opposed to hearing officers—the final say on whether a teacher accused of sexual misconduct is fired, according to a press release.
Under current law, outside hearing officers decide on the cases and impose binding penalties. A statement from the mayor’s office, however, contends that the law has prevented the department of education in New York City, for instance, from terminating teachers, even after an outside investigator concluded there had been inappropriate sexual conduct.
The new law would allow districts to review a hearing officer’s decision and make the final determination about what disciplinary action to take.
Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, responded to the proposed changes in a press release, stating that the union’s contract “already includes the toughest penalty in the state—automatic termination—for any teacher found guilty of this offense.”
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2012 edition of Education Week as N.Y.C. Seeks Leeway in Firing Teachers