Teaching is one of the most important jobs for preparing for the future, and without these professionals, society would not advance or be sustainable. Because of how important school and teachers are in Connecticut, teachers and educators are held to a very high standard. Not only must teachers be knowledgeable on all different subject matters, but parents entrust them with their children every day. Teachers are in the unique position of being held responsible for so much, yet closely scrutinized as well. If you are a teacher looking to protect your teaching license, learn more on this page.
In Connecticut, there are different types of teacher certifications. There is the initial educator certificate which is valid for three years and requires the licensee to be educated in a college or university in the grade level that the teaching certificate is in or must complete twenty school months in a school, teaching at an approved school.
A provisional educator certificate is valid for eight years and requires ten months of experience and the teacher mentoring program or thirty school months of experience at an approved school. The professional educator certificate requires thirty months of experience in a Connecticut approved school under the provisional certificate and other course requirements prescribed by the regulations.
The Connecticut State Board of Education regulates teachers and the Board contains a group of members that have varying experiences. In 2016, Connecticut created a Bureau of Investigations and Professional Practices, which is responsible for investigating educators. The Bureau will investigate any educator that is under suspicion for doing one of the following:
Fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment in the application process.
A criminal charge, even if there is a plea of “no contest.”
A conviction of any crime that is substantially related to the job duties and the ability to be an educator.
Physical or mental incapacity.
Resigning from employment with no consent or advanced notice.
Revocation of teaching license by another state.
Any illegal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct that is substantially related to the job duties and the ability to be an educator.
The failure to report in mandatory reporting situations.
Failure for a school administrator to report revocable conduct.
Inappropriate relationship with a student.
Having or using illegal substances.
The Bureau and the Department take allegations and investigations against teachers very seriously because of the delicate nature of teaching children and representing education as a whole. Revocations of a teaching license is one of the most common types of discipline for misconduct. One of the most common reasons for revocation in Connecticut is when an education licensee has a revocation in another state. Other common reasons for revocation include any type of inappropriate misconduct with a student or having any illegal substances on school property. Any type of violent misconduct is generally going to be disciplined with revocation as well.
Having a teaching license is a privilege, but nonetheless, is afforded due process protections. This means that any licensee has the right to notice and the opportunity for a hearing before losing their license. There is always the option to voluntarily surrender one’s license, but often, licensees are misled to believe that this is their only option. Licensees should remember that the Bureau and the Board are looking out for the interests of the public, not the licensee that is under suspicion. A licensee has the right to consult with an attorney before making any statements to the investigating bureau or going before the Board for a hearing.
If you are a licensed teacher in Connecticut and you fear that you are at risk for losing your license or facing disciplinary action, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney before making the decision to surrender your license, make any statements, or go before the Board for a hearing. Call our office today to speak with an attorney who can advise you on what to do and answer any questions you may have.