Harris bill that would give educators with reprimands another chance receives a hearing

Educators who have received a reprimand could have the opportunity for redemption under a bill introduced by Rep. Paul Harris for the 2023 legislative session.

House Bill 1113 would require the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to adopt rules for reviewing and vacating reprimands issued to certificated professional educators. Currently, there is no process in place to vacate a reprimand on an educator’s certificate.

The bill, which received a public hearing on Tuesday in the House Education Committee, is similar to House Bill 1791, which Harris introduced last year.

“I brought this issue forward last session because I believe people deserve a second chance,” said Harris, R-Vancouver. “Teachers are not perfect, and sometimes they make poor judgments that can result in a reprimand on their educator certificate. That can leave a permanent mark on their record, which may limit career opportunities and advancement.”

HB 1113 would also direct the superintendent of public instruction to make reasonable efforts to contact certificated professional educators who were issued a reprimand during a specified period and whose reprimand is eligible for vacating under the PESB rules.

“This legislation provides a second chance for educators who have undertaken corrective action, especially at a time with the education system is facing a staff shortage,” said Harris. “I’m all for accountability, but mercy should be applied once justice has been met.”

The 2023 legislative session began Jan. 9 and is scheduled to last 105 consecutive days.

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