Wednesday, December 30, 2015
A Second Bite Of The Apple To Terminate Teachers- New York State's Part 83.
In the New York Post today there is an article about the two female foreign language teachers who were allegedly caught, after school locking lips and being partly undressed, in a classroom. The DOE brought 3020-a charges against them and-both were fired due mostly from the bad publicity it generated in the media. However. in their Article 75 appeal both teachers were given their jobs back after being suspended without pay for a year or more. End of story? No, not quite.
It now appears one of the two teachers has been investigated by the State of New York under their Part 83 for "good moral character. This formally little used State provision allows the State to revoke an educator's teaching certificate and was only used against teachers found guilty of serious sexual misconduct with a student or for felony criminal convictions However, over the last few years the State has vigorously pursued New York City teachers who were found to have committed misconduct such as corporal punishment, inappropriate behavior, and other non-firing offenses, despite the fact that many of them survived their 3020-a hearings. .
The definition of "good moral character" is quite vague and inclusive that allows the State to arbitrarily decide who to file Part 83 against, usually from a recommendation from the DOE's Office of Legal Services, since it takes a representative of a school district to notify the State of actions taken against a tenured teacher. Betsy Combier's blog clearly spells out the State Part 83 requirements and can found here.
One example is the selective nature of the State's application of Part 83. The two teachers found to have allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior in a classroom after school. However, only one of the two teachers were subject to the Part 83 investigation, why? It should have applied to both or neither teacher and since there were no students or children involved and occurred after school by two consenting adults, why is Part 83 being used to take that teacher's license? Seems unfair to me.
The State's aggressive used of Part 83 to revoke a teacher's license is all part of the Cuomo agenda to terminate teachers and not to improve student instruction. Just because a teacher survives the 3020-a process, look out for New York State's Part 83 provision that gives the politicians a second bite of the apple to terminate tenured teachers.