Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 3. LOCAL ADMINISTRATION [35000 - 45460]

  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 25. EMPLOYEES [44000 - 45460]

  ( Part 25 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 2. Teacher Credentialing [44200 - 44409]

  ( Heading of Chapter 2 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1355, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 3. Committee of Credentials [44240 - 44248]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

44240.
  

The commission shall appoint a Committee of Credentials, consisting of seven persons for terms fixed by the commission but not to exceed two years. The committee shall include:

(a) One member who shall be a full-time certified classroom teacher in the public elementary schools with not less than five years’ classroom experience.

(b) One member who shall be a full-time certified classroom teacher in the public secondary schools with not less than five years’ classroom experience.

(c) One member who shall be a certified administrative employee in the public schools.

(d) One member who shall be a member of the governing board of any school district. No person who is or has been employed in a certificated position in the public schools within the preceding five years shall be appointed as a school board member.

(e) Three members who shall be representatives of the public. No person who is or has been employed in a certificated position in the public schools or who is or has been a member of any governing board of a school district or county board of education within the five years next preceding date of appointment shall be appointed as a public member.

The additional public members of the committee provided for in this section as amended during the 1977–78 Regular Session, shall be appointed by the commission as vacancies in the committee occur, consistent with the requirements of professional representation. Appointments to the Committee of Credentials shall reflect, to the extent feasible, the ethnic and cultural diversity of California public schools.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1355, Sec. 14.)

44241.
  

Sections 44215, 44216, 44217, 44218, 44220, and 44221 are applicable to the Committee of Credentials.

(Enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010.)

44242.
  

The Committee of Credentials shall be under the direct supervision of the commission.

(Enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010.)

44242.5.
  

(a) Each allegation of an act or omission by an applicant for, or holder of, a credential for which he or she may be subject to an adverse action shall be presented to the Committee of Credentials.

(b) The committee has jurisdiction to commence an initial review upon receipt of any of the following:

(1) (A) Official records of the Department of Justice, of a law enforcement agency, of a state or federal court, and of any other agency of this state or another state.

(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), “agency of this state” has the same meaning as that of “state agency” as set forth in Section 11000 of the Government Code.

(2) An affidavit or declaration signed by a person or persons with personal knowledge of the acts alleged to constitute misconduct.

(3) (A) A statement from an employer notifying the commission that, as a result of an allegation of misconduct, or while an allegation of misconduct is pending, a credentialholder has been dismissed, nonreelected, suspended for more than 10 days, or placed pursuant to a final adverse employment action on unpaid administrative leave for more than 10 days, or has resigned or otherwise left employment.

(B) The employer shall provide the notice described in subparagraph (A) to the commission not later than 30 days after the dismissal, nonreelection, suspension, placement on unpaid administrative leave, resignation, or departure from employment of the employee.

(C) For purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B), a change in status due solely to unsatisfactory performance pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 44932 or a reduction in force pursuant to Sections 44955 to 44958, inclusive, is not a result of an allegation of misconduct.

(4) A notice from an employer that a complaint was filed with the school district alleging sexual misconduct by a credentialholder. Results of an investigation by the committee based on this paragraph shall not be considered for action by the committee unless there is evidence presented to the committee in the form of a written or oral declaration under penalty of perjury that confirms the personal knowledge of the declarant regarding the acts alleged to constitute misconduct.

(5) A notice from a school district, employer, public agency, or testing administrator of a violation of Section 44420, 44421.1, 44421.5, or 44439.

(6) (A) An affirmative response on an application submitted to the commission as to any conviction, adverse action on, or denial of, a license, or pending investigation into a criminal allegation or pending investigation of a noncriminal allegation of misconduct by a governmental licensing entity.

(B) Failure to disclose any matter set forth in subparagraph (A).

(c) An initial review commences on the date that the written notice is mailed to the applicant or credentialholder that his or her fitness to hold a credential is under review. Upon commencement of a formal review pursuant to Section 44244, the committee shall investigate all alleged misconduct and the circumstances in mitigation and aggravation. The investigation shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) Investigation of the fitness and competence of the applicant or credentialholder to perform the duties authorized by the credential for which he or she has applied or that he or she presently holds.

(2) Preparation of a summary of the applicable law, a summary of the facts, contested and uncontested, and a summary of any circumstances in aggravation or mitigation of the allegation.

(3) Determination of probable cause for an adverse action on the credential. If the allegation is for unprofessional or immoral conduct, the committee, in any formal review conducted pursuant to Section 44244 to determine probable cause, shall permit the employer of the credentialholder to be present while testimony is taken. If the allegation of unprofessional or immoral conduct involves sexual abuse, the employer shall be examined in the meeting for any relevant evidence relating to the sexual abuse.

(A) If the committee determines that probable cause for an adverse action does not exist, the committee shall terminate the investigation.

(B) If the committee determines that probable cause for an adverse action on the credential exists, upon receipt of a request from an applicant or a credentialholder pursuant to Section 44244.1, the commission shall initiate an adjudicatory hearing, as prescribed by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, by filing an accusation or statement of issues.

(d) The committee has jurisdiction to commence a formal review pursuant to Section 44244 upon receipt of any of the following:

(1) (A) Official records of a state or federal court that reflect a conviction or plea, including a plea of nolo contendere, to a criminal offense or official records of a state court that adjudge a juvenile to be a dependent of the court pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code due to allegations of sexual misconduct or physical abuse by a credentialholder or applicant.

(B) Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to relieve the commission from the confidentiality provisions, notice, and due process requirements set forth in Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(2) An affidavit or declaration signed by a person or persons with personal knowledge of the acts alleged to constitute misconduct.

(3) A statement described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b).

(4) Official records of a governmental licensing entity that reflect an administrative proceeding or investigation, otherwise authorized by law or regulation, which has become final.

(5) A notice described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b).

(6) A response or failure to disclose, as described in paragraph (6) of subdivision (b).

(e) (1) Upon completion of its investigation, the committee shall report its actions and recommendations to the commission, including its findings as to probable cause, and if probable cause exists, its recommendations as to the appropriate adverse action.

(2) The findings shall be available, upon its request, to the employing or last known employing school district, or, if adverse action is recommended by the committee and the credentialholder has not filed a timely appeal of the recommendation of the committee pursuant to Section 44244.1, upon a request made within five years of the date of the committee’s recommendations to a school district providing verification that the credentialholder has applied for employment in the school district. The findings, for all purposes, shall remain confidential and limited to school district personnel in a direct supervisory capacity in relation to the person investigated. Any person who otherwise releases findings received from the committee or the commission, absent a verified release signed by the person who is the subject of the investigation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(3) The findings shall not contain any information that reveals the identity of persons other than the person who is the subject of the investigation.

(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) and, notwithstanding subdivision (b), for purposes of determining whether jurisdiction exists under subdivision (b), the commission, in accordance with Section 44341, may make inquiries and requests for production of information and records only from the Department of Justice, a law enforcement agency, a state or federal court, and a licensing agency of this state or a licensing agency of another state.

(2) For purposes of determining whether jurisdiction exists, paragraph (1) does not apply to release of personnel records.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 232, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2014.)

44242.7.
  

(a) Any allegation of an act or omission by the holder of a credential, except for an allegation that involves sexual misconduct with a minor or recurring conduct resulting in a pattern of misconduct, shall be presented to the Committee of Credentials for initial review within four years from the date of the alleged act or omission, or within one year from the date the act or omission should reasonably have been discovered.

(b) The commission shall adopt regulations specifying conduct that is considered recurring conduct that results in a pattern of misconduct as set forth in subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 342, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2002.)

44243.
  

(a) The commission may assign to the Committee of Credentials administrative duties as it may see fit relating to adverse actions concerning applicants and credential holders.

(b) The commission shall supervise the work of the committee and shall provide statements of policy relative to committee operation and procedures as it deems appropriate to do so.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 342, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2002.)

44244.
  

(a) At least 30 days prior to any formal review of the Committee of Credentials at which the application of an applicant or credential of a holder is to be considered, the committee shall notify the applicant or holder of the specific allegations of misconduct that make the application or credential subject to adverse action. The notification shall be in ordinary and concise language and set forth the acts or omissions charged and the statutes or rules violated. Supplemental allegations of misconduct shall be sent to the holder or applicant at least 30 days prior to the formal review. The portions of the investigation of the original or supplemental allegations that constitute the basis for the allegations shall be open to inspection and copying by the holder or applicant and his or her attorney. The statement of the allegations shall inform the applicant or holder that the allegations, if true, are sufficient to cause his or her application or credential to be subject to adverse action.

(b) (1) The formal review shall be held no later than six months after the commencement of the initial review as set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 44242.5. The formal review shall determine either that no adverse action shall be taken or that the allegations are sufficient to cause his or her application or credential to be subject to adverse action.

(2) All testimony before the committee shall be verified under penalty of perjury by oath or affirmation. The chairperson of the committee may administer the oath or affirmation. The chairperson may designate staff to administer the oath or affirmation for statements taken during the investigation of allegations of misconduct.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the chairperson of the commission may grant the committee an extension of time, not exceeding six months, when the committee demonstrates that additional time is necessary to complete its investigation or determination, as described in subdivision (b).

(d) The recommendation of the committee shall be in writing and a copy of the recommendation shall be delivered to the credentialholder or applicant personally or sent to him or her by certified mail within 14 days after the formal review, together with specific information relative to any appeal rights to which the credentialholder or applicant is entitled.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 79, Sec. 9. Effective July 19, 2006.)

44244.1.
  

(a) (1) A recommendation by the Committee of Credentials to take an adverse action may be adopted by the commission without further proceedings if, after service of notice of the committee recommendation pursuant to Section 44244, the credential holder or applicant fails to give notice of intent to request an administrative hearing or if he or she gives notice of intent not to request an administrative hearing within 30 days.

(2) For good cause shown, the commission may grant an additional 30 days for filing of a request for an administrative hearing.

(b) The commission shall make no disclosures concerning private admonitions except as required by Section 44438.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 342, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 2002.)

44245.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, all hearings and deliberations of the commission and Committee of Credentials to consider an adverse action or a reinstatement or reduction in penalty shall be closed sessions with only commission members, committee members, staff members, the credential holder or applicant whose application or credential is in issue, the counsel of the credential holder or applicant, and any material witnesses in attendance.

(b) All final actions taken pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be made public.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), disclosure of private admonitions shall be in accordance with Section 44438.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 342, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2002.)

44246.
  

When a hearing is held to deny, suspend, or revoke a credential, the proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the commission shall have all the powers granted therein.

(Enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010.)

44247.
  

Any applicant for the renewal certification document who is denied a renewal by the Committee of Credentials may request a reevaluation of his application by the commission.

(Enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010.)

44248.
  

(a) Any member of the commission, commission staff member, member or staff member of the Committee of Credentials, State Department of Education employee who releases or gives out information received at a commission or committee meeting or hearing or through the investigation of a certified employee without authorization of the commission or committee, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Any material witness or his or her representative who releases or gives out information received at a commission or committee meeting or hearing, or who releases or gives out information obtained as a result of direct involvement in the investigation of a certified employee, without authorization of the commission or committee, is guilty of a misdemeanor unless this information was known to the material witness or his or her representative prior to that meeting, hearing, or investigation.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 503, Sec. 1.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC3.