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Teacher misconduct bill OK'ed by committee; school boards get fire power

Desks in a classroom are shown in this undated file photo.

April 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Local school boards would have the power to fire teachers accused of violent, sex or drug offenses involving kids under a new bill that passed a legislative committee on Wednesday.

Sen. Alex Padilla's SB1530 came in the wake of the scandal at Miramonte Elementary School, where former third-grade teacher Mark Berndt is accused of blindfolding students and feeding them his semen on spoons and cookies.

Padilla, a Democrat from Los Angeles, won unanimous approval for his bill from the Senate Education Committee despite opposition from teachers unions. SB1530 would let school boards dismiss teachers, rather than leaving the decision to a three-member disciplinary commission.

The same committee rejected a broader measure by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, who wanted to make the disciplinary procedures instituted in L.A. following the misconduct case to be applied statewide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.