The Educator Quality Division encompasses review of licensure applications with impediments, investigations into misconduct by licensed educators, actions to suspend or revoke licenses, and tenured teacher dismissals.
Licensure Applications with Impediments
Each applicant for a license, endorsement or approval must disclose certain personal history when applying for licensure, renewing a license, or registering a license; including, but not limited to, certain criminal history or DCFS indications for child abuse or neglect. Such disclosures are called “impediments”. Applications with impediments are reviewed pursuant to
105 ILCS 5/21B-15 and
23 Ill.Admin.Code 25.480 through 25.491, by an investigator in the ISBE Legal Department, who advises the Licensure Division whether to issue or deny a license, endorsement or approval.
Depending on the type of impediment, the investigator will request supplemental documentation, such as certified conviction records. An applicant has the opportunity to submit evidence in mitigation of an impediment, such as personal statements and character references. If a recommendation is made to deny the application, the applicant has the opportunity to request a credibility hearing before a committee comprised of Licensure Division staff and present evidence and/or character witnesses on his/her behalf. At this meeting, Licensure Division staff may ask questions related to the application, and the proceedings are recorded by a court reporter. Licensure Division staff will then make a final administrative decision either to issue the license, endorsement, or approval or deny the application. This decision is reviewable pursuant to the Administrative Review Law, 735 ILCS 5, Article III.
A licensee may be sanctioned for committing serious acts of misconduct, resulting in suspension or revocation of a license and/or required completion of professional development, pursuant to
105 ILCS 5/21B-75 and
Part 475 rules (23 Ill.Admin.Code 475). Licenses can be suspended for up to five years, or permanently revoked, and professional development can be imposed on its own or in conjunction with any term of suspension. Investigators in the Legal Department will subpoena personnel records, obtain criminal or DCFS records, and conduct interviews before making a recommendation to the State Superintendent to initiate an action for sanctions. Licensees are entitled to request and receive a full evidentiary hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board (SEPLB) prior to sanctions being imposed.
The hearing officer makes a recommendation to the full SEPLB, which makes a final administrative decision on sanctions. If a licensee does not request a hearing, the State Superintendent imposes the sanction recommended. Alternatively, a licensee may voluntarily surrender his or her license, resulting in its revocation. Licensees may also propose settlement to resolve the matter without the cost and uncertainty of litigation. Information about the SEPLB can be found on its website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/State-Educator-Preparation-andLicensure-Board.aspx. A licensee convicted of an offense listed in 105 ILCS 5/21B-80 is automatically disqualified from holding a license and is not entitled to additional due process (notice and an opportunity to be heard) before his or her license is revoked.
Application of Section 24-14 of the Illinois School Code to Teacher Resignations
The Illinois State Board of Education has prepared
guidance on the applicability and effect of Section 24-14 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/24-14) regarding teacher resignations. The intent of the guidance is to ensure that district and regional administrators understand the provisions of law and the scenarios in which a teacher’s license may be suspended for resigning from a teaching assignment in contravention of law.
Tenured Teacher Dismissals
A tenured teacher can be dismissed for cause from employment in an action initiated by the school district employer. These dismissal actions are governed by
105 ILCS 5/24-12(d) and
Part 51 rules (23 Ill.Admin.Code 51). Dismissal actions are heard by an impartial hearing officer, who makes a recommendation to the local school board, and the local school board makes the final decision on dismissal. ISBE’s role in tenured teacher dismissals is limited to maintaining a corps of qualified hearing officers. Hearing officer dismissal recommendations can be found at
FILING A COMPLAINT
A complaint about an educator’s misconduct may be filed by submitting a completed Educator Misconduct Complaint Form to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include as much detail as possible and attach supporting documentation, if applicable.
Educator Misconduct Complaint Form (20-01)
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