Iowa teachers will be able to find out the names of people who accuse them of wrongdoing before an investigation is complete under a new law that critics say will scare off whistle-blowers. Teachers will be the only licensed workers in Iowa with the privilege. The practice follows a 2000 state law that aims to protect whistle-blowers from retaliation.
The Iowa agency that oversees teacher licensing provided teachers immediate access to the names of their accusers until last fall, when the attorney generals office warned that the practice violated the 2000 law and could have a chilling effect on reports of wrongdoing. Officials of the states largest teachers union then successfully pushed for a new law this spring that only applies to teachers.
A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 2010 edition of Education Week as Iowa Teachers Regain Right to Early Look at Accusers