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      RS 17:15     

  

§15. Criminal history review

            A.(1)(a) A person who has been convicted of or has pled nolo contendere to a crime listed in R.S. 15:587.1(C) shall not be hired by a city, parish, or other local public school board or a nonpublic school or school system as a bus operator, substitute bus operator, or janitor, or as a temporary, part-time, or permanent school employee of any kind.

            (b)(i) Except as otherwise provided in this Subparagraph, a city, parish, or other local public school board or a nonpublic school or school system shall not knowingly hire a person as an administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher if the person:

            (aa) Has been convicted of or has pled nolo contendere to a felony offense even if adjudication was withheld or a pardon or expungement was granted.

            (bb) Has been found to have submitted fraudulent documentation to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or the state Department of Education as part of an application for a Louisiana teaching certificate or other teaching authorization.

            (cc) Has been found to have facilitated cheating on any state assessment as determined by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

            (ii) A city, parish, or other local public school board or a nonpublic school or school system may hire a person as an administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher who has been convicted of or has pled nolo contendere to a felony not listed in R.S. 15:587.1(C), who has been found to have submitted fraudulent documentation to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or the state Department of Education as part of an application for a Louisiana teaching certificate or other teaching authorization, or who has been found to have facilitated cheating on any state assessment as determined by the board if the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves a formal appeal request submitted by the person and issues a teaching certificate or authorization as provided in R.S. 17:7(6)(h).

            (c) For purposes of this Section, any person employed to provide cafeteria, transportation, janitorial, maintenance, or student services by any person or entity that contracts with a school or school system to provide such services shall be considered to be hired by a school system.

            (2)(a) A city, parish, or other local public school board shall dismiss:

            (i) An administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher upon the final conviction of or submission of a plea of nolo contendere to any felony offense, after a hearing held pursuant to the provisions of Part II of Chapter 2 of this Title.

            (ii) An administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher who is found to have submitted fraudulent documentation to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or the state Department of Education as part of an application for a Louisiana teaching certificate or other teaching authorization.

            (iii) An administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher who is found to have facilitated cheating on any state assessment as determined by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

            (iv) Any other school employee if such employee is convicted of or pleads nolo contendere to a crime listed in R.S. 15:587.1(C), except R.S. 14:74.

            (b) The superintendent of schools of any school system dismissing an employee pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph shall notify the state superintendent of education of the employee's dismissal not later than thirty days after such dismissal.

            (c) A city, parish, or other local public school board may reemploy an administrator, teacher, or other school employee who has been dismissed for conviction of a crime, except a crime listed in R.S. 15:587.1(C), pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph only upon written approval of the district judge of the parish and the district attorney, or upon written documentation from the court in which the conviction occurred stating that the conviction has been reversed, set aside, or vacated. Any such statement of approval of the judge and the district attorney and any such written documentation from the court shall be kept on file at all times by the school and shall be produced upon request to any law enforcement officer. No later than thirty days after its being placed on file by the school, the school principal shall submit a copy of any such statement of approval or written documentation from the court to the state superintendent of education.

            B. Each city, parish, and other local public school board shall establish, by regulation, requirements, and procedures consistent with the provisions of R.S. 15:587.1 under which the school systems shall determine whether an applicant, or employee, including any person employed as provided in Subparagraph (A)(1)(c) of this Section, has been arrested for or convicted of or pled nolo contendere to any criminal offense. Included in this regulation shall be the requirement and the procedure for the submission of a person's fingerprints in a form acceptable to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information prior to employment of such person.

            C. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education by rule adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act shall establish requirements and procedures consistent with the provisions of R.S. 15:587.1 and the provisions for all other felony offenses for the state Department of Education to determine whether an applicant for or the recipient of any certificate, license, or other teaching authorization issued in accordance with state law or board policy by the department or the board and who might reasonably be expected to be placed in a position of supervisory or disciplinary authority over school children has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to any criminal offense. Included in this rule shall be the requirement and the procedure for the submission of a person's fingerprints in a form acceptable to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information.

            D. For the purposes of this Section, "city, parish, or other local public school board" shall mean the governing authority of any public elementary or secondary school.

            E.(1) An administrator, teacher, or other school employee upon his final conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any criminal offense, excluding traffic offenses, shall report the fact of his conviction or plea to his employer within forty-eight hours of the conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

            (2) An administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher who fails to report a conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere of any felony offense shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, with or without hard labor, or both.

            (3) A school employee other than an administrator, teacher, or substitute teacher who fails to report a conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere of any criminal offense listed in R.S. 15:587.1(C)(1) shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, with or without hard labor, or both.

            F.(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education may assess a civil fine against a school governing authority, equal to the average state yearly compensation for a public school teacher, inclusive of salary and benefits, that knowingly employs a person without requesting the criminal records required by this Section or who knowingly hires a person who has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to any felony offense and who the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has not provided a teaching authorization pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 17:7(10) or who has not completed the formal appeal process required by the state board and been granted a new teaching certificate or other teaching authorization as provided in R.S. 17:7(6)(h).

            (2) Such fine shall be levied only after a final judgement is rendered pursuant to an adjudication process conducted in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 49:955 et seq.

            (3) The state board shall report any such instances of fine assessments to the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education within thirty days of such assessment. Civil fines collected pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be deposited immediately into the state treasury. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall promulgate rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act for implementation of this Subsection.

            G. At the request of his parent or legal guardian, a student shall be removed from the class of any teacher who has a felony conviction and placed in another class.

            Added by Acts 1986, No. 760, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, No. 14, §2; Acts 1990, No. 618, §1, eff. July 19, 1990; Acts 1993, No. 1056, §1, eff. July 13, 1992; Acts 1999, No. 1052, §2, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2005, No. 416, §1; Acts 2006, No. 233, §1; Acts 2008, No. 649, §2; Acts 2009, No. 192, §2, eff. June 30, 2009; Acts 2017, No. 335, §1; Acts 2017, No. 423, §2, eff. June 26, 2017; Acts 2018, No. 634, §1, eff. July 1, 2018.



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