The Commission is authorized to conduct hearings to receive
testimony from the public on issues related to teacher preparation and
certification and in disciplinary matters. Notices of non-disciplinary
hearings will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Requests
for such hearings on a particular matter can be made in writing to the
In most cases in which a Notice of Charges is filed, the
educator has 30 days in which to file a responsive pleading and to request
a hearing. When the Department is seeking an immediate suspension, the
educator must file a response within 15 days. If a hearing is requested and factual issues
are in dispute, the Commission will assign the case to one of its
designated hearing officers. The hearing officers are independent attorneys who
are under contract to act as the presiding officer in hearings pursuant to the General
Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure.
On behalf of the Commission, the hearing officers are
granted authority to hold pre-hearing conferences, to conduct a fair and
impartial hearing and to maintain order, to rule on evidentiary questions, and
to dispose of procedural matters. A hearing officer is prohibited, however,
from making a final determination of the case except through a proposed report
to the Commission. The Commission is charged with making all final
Upon completion of the hearing, the hearing officer prepares
a proposed report containing findings of fact, conclusions of law and
recommended discipline where appropriate. Parties to the case, excluding the
intervening school entity, may file an appeal of the proposed report to the
Commission within 30 days after the date of that the proposed report was mailed.
If exceptions are filed, the Commission may accept, modify or reject the
hearing officer’s decision as the Commission is the ultimate fact finder. In addition, the Commission may reopen the
proceeding for the reception of further evidence or initiate a review of the
decision in the absence of exceptions.
of the Commission may be appealed to Commonwealth Court.