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Misconduct investigation prompts more teacher oversight

Posted: 12:41 PM, Nov 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-08 14:42:23-05
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PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona investigator has confirmed there is an increase in teacher misconduct claims, including sexual misconduct, citing an overwhelming number of caseloads.

The Arizona Republic reports that the investigation unit in the state Department of Education has requested additional funding to add four investigators to the staff.

Head investigator David Spelich told state lawmakers Thursday that the four existing investigators handle caseloads as high as 150.

Lawmakers say they also heard proposed legislative reforms amid loopholes exposed by The Arizona Republic and AZ Public Radio allowing teachers and other school employees accused of sexual offenses to remain unnoticed or undisciplined.

Officials say the law removing offenders from classrooms only applies to certified educators and not the more than 6,000 non-certified school employees like bus drivers and classroom aides.