SBEC discusses relationships law

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) met on Friday to discuss Chapter 249 relating to disciplinary proceedings, sanctions, and contested cases, to consider new educator prep programs and to review legislation directly affecting SBEC.

The board discussed the problem of romantic relationships with students – the subject of a new state law, HB1610 – and what the term actually means. There was some concern that the term was overly broad, and it was noted that some educational aides can be young and near in age to 18-year-old students. It also was noted that marriages are legal at 18, which means the law might cause some unintended consequences.

The following bills passed during the regular session apply to SBEC:

  • HB 1334, prohibiting a district from terminating an educator whose certificate has expired if the educator has made application for renewal.
  • HB 1386, relating to licensed professionals providing marriage and family therapy in schools.
  • HB 1610, relating to the crime of improper relationship, which requires a district to continue an investigation even when a teacher under investigation leaves the district’s employment.
  • SB 54, requiring educator prep program training to teach students with visual impairments.
  • SB 866, requiring dyslexia training in university education prep programs and continued professional education.
  • SB 867, requiring licensing agencies to make accommodations on licensing exams for persons with dyslexia.  The SBEC test contractor already provides these accommodations.

The Board also discussed Chapter 249 revisions. The proposed amendments would update statutory and administrative rule references, as well as clarify and streamline the SBEC disciplinary procedures and standards. 

The board will meet again in August to consider adoption of the proposed 249 revisions.