With 278 educators sitting in “teacher jail,” the school board for the Los Angeles Unified School District voted last week to streamline the investigations of those accused of serious physical abuse or sexual misconduct.
Passed without discussion, the resolution directs administrators to craft a plan for hiring professional investigators to look into abuse claims, and tightens the timeline for handling the cases. Teachers will also have to be told why they’re being pulled from their classrooms—which doesn’t happen now—unless doing so would compromise a police investigation.
Under the system that many educators call “teacher jail,” those accused of misconduct are housed in district offices while administrators investigate misconduct allegations and decide their fate. The process typically drags on for months, with teachers collecting their full pay—an average of $6,000 a month, plus benefits—until they’re returned to work or fired.
A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 2013 edition of Education Week as LAUSD to Streamline Teacher Investigations