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Senate Bill 1323 — Convictions used to prohibit entry into teaching profession

Senate Bill 1323 — Convictions used to prohibit entry into teaching profession

Wayne Hoffman
February 12, 2020

Bill description: SB 1323 would prohibit people convicted of certain crimes from entry into the teaching profession. 

Rating: -1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market? 

This bill would allow the state Professional Standards Commission to prohibit people convicted of aggravated assault or aggravated battery from receiving or holding a teaching certificate in Idaho. Current law grants the commission this power in cases where these crimes are committed against a child. The new statute would expand the authority of the commission by expanding the instances in which it would deny or revoke a certificate.


Analyst's Note: Over the last few years, Idaho lawmakers have come to recognize that blanket prohibitions on employment based solely on criminal conduct don’t work. In the 2020 legislative session, several bills are being considered to eliminate such restrictions, recognizing that 1) people are not the sum total of their past, 2) a person with a criminal act in the past may still be able to contribute to society and, 3) a person who commits a crime may not necessarily reoffend. Current statute makes an arguably valid distinction involving crimes against defenseless children and everyone else. This bill does not. 

Amendments made to this bill on 2/26 do allow those that presently hold a teaching certificate that would now be ineligible to hold a certificate due to this new provision to have a hearing before their certification is revoked. At this hearing, the commission panel can grant an exception to such an individual, to let them keep their certification even though they violate this new law.

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