Bill to reprimand dishonest teachers is Brown’s first to win approval

Senator Sharon BrownToday the Washington State Senate voted unanimously to pass legislation that would make teachers pay a price for submitting fraudulent test scores. Senate Bill 5701, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, would add the Professional Educator Standards Board to the list of organizations that may file complaints with the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“Right now, the board is responsible for certifying teachers in our state but it lacks the ability to refer to OSPI those teachers it believes are submitting fraudulent test results,” said Brown, who is a member of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “My bill would authorize the board to initiate investigations of teachers it has reason to believe are essentially trying to cheat the system, but would also allow any certificated school employee whose certificate is in question to appeal any allegation.”

Brown offered an amendment to SB 5701 – her first bill passed as a state senator – which was adopted before the bill’s passage. It would allow OSPI to issue a reprimand to educators as a penalty for submitting fraudulent test scores. Brown added that her bill is really a common-sense measure, which is why she believes it garnered unanimous Senate support.

“We hold our children to certain standards while they attend school and perhaps the most obvious of those is to not cheat,” Brown said. “Teachers need to set the example for their students and that means more than just talking the talk. If this bill becomes law there will be a little more scrutiny of our state’s educators, which I believe will urge them to also walk the walk.”

SB 5701 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.