Disciplinary cases brought by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or CTC, typically start with a letter inquiring about a criminal conviction or other adverse report. A teacher will typically respond with a letter of explanation and supporting documents. After reviewing the response from the teacher, the Committee of Credentials of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing will issue a Notice of Committee Recommendation. The Notice of Committee Recommendation will usually propose discipline against the teacher, usually a suspension of the teacher’s teaching credential. After receiving the Notice of Committee Recommendation, a teacher has 30 calendar days to submit a written request for either reconsideration of the recommendation based upon new and relevant information for the Committee on Credentials, or to request an administrative hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings before an administrative law judge to defend the teaching credential.
If the discipline proposed by the Notice of Committee Recommendation is not acceptable or unduly harsh, teachers will usually request an administrative hearing to defend their teaching credential. An administrative hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings is held before an impartial, neutral administrative law judge. These hearings are just like a court trial. A deputy attorney general from the California Department of Justice represents the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A court reporter makes a stenographic record of the event. Exhibits are introduced, witnesses are questioned (including the teacher) and legal arguments are made. After the hearing, the administrative law judge issues a proposed decision to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In most cases, the proposed decision becomes the final decision.
Until relatively recently, cases brought against teachers by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing were prosecuted by staff attorneys from the CTC. However, recently the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, took over these cases. The Office of the Attorney General has offices across California and brings license discipline cases at the four locations of the Office of Administrative Hearings and at other venues where hearings are held.
At Ray & Bishop, PLC, we handle hundreds of license discipline cases each year, with almost all destined for the Office of Administrative Hearings with the Office of the Attorney General on the other side. We welcome the opportunity to defend teachers and defend California teaching credentials in these disciplinary cases.