OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 1017

AN ACT CONCERNING UNSUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT BY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES.

SUMMARY

By law, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner must investigate any report that a child has been abused or neglected by a school employee. The bill requires the commissioner to notify the employee, as well as the employing school or school district, of the investigation's results, in addition to the employing superintendent and Education Commissioner, as required under current law.

If the investigation finds the alleged abuse or neglect to be unsubstantiated, the bill requires the State Department of Education (SDE), employing superintendent, and employing school or school district to remove any references to DCF's report and investigation from the employee's personnel records and any other records relating to the employee. Even with an unsubstantiated finding, however, the bill allows SDE or a local or regional board of education to undertake the following actions:

1. investigate the school employee's conduct for purposes relating to professional certification or employment or

2. if the department or school board chooses to investigate, upon the investigation's completion take action with respect to the employee's employment, professional certification, authorization, or permit; including action with respect to discipline, salary, promotion, transfer, demotion, retention or continuance of employment, or termination of employment or any right or privilege related to employment.

The bill prohibits SDE or a board of certification from taking any such action on the employee's employment, professional certification, authorization, or permit if it is solely based upon the unsubstantiated abuse or neglect report.

The bill also makes several technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

Substitute Senate Bill 893, reported favorably by the Children's Committee, requires DCF to take certain steps specific to investigations of alleged child abuse or neglect by a school employee or a staff member of a private school or private child care facility or institution.

Under that bill, if the employee or staff member DCF investigated has a state-issued license or certificate or State Board of Education-issued permit or authorization or his or her employing school, institution, or facility has a state-issued license or approval, the commissioner must notify the agency responsible for that credential of the investigation results.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

31

Nay

0

(03/24/2017)