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'Do not hire' registry to prevent bad teachers from being rehired

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 19:36:47-05

Starting in January, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is launching a "no hire" registry.

The registry will include teachers with a past of misconduct or a criminal history.

The move is part of school finance reform bill HB-3. It's designed to stop teachers with a controversial history from setting foot in another classroom.

Schools will be required to check the list before a teacher is hired, and will have to terminate any employees who are added to the list.

The TEA says there were nearly 1,500 cases opened on certified teachers in 2019 including misconduct.

"It's never good to hear about your fellow educators making a really bad decisions." says Lorena ISD Superintendent Joe Kucera.

Kucera says the registry is a good step, but he will continue to take extra measures before he hires new teachers.

"The reality is we have to make our phone calls. We have to check references. You have to do the background checks and then do the very best decision possible," he said.

Kucera says everyone still plays a role in spotting misconduct and reporting it to authorities.

"We want to bring good people, good role models. We want the safety of our students as our very first priority," Kucera continued.

School administrators will also be required to report all staff fired for misconduct.

Once the registry is established, the list will be available to the public to search for an individual by name.