Educators whose certification or employment eligibility has been suspended, revoked or surrendered may apply to the Commission for an order lifting the suspension or reinstating their certification or employment eligibility.
The application packet contains a Petition for Reinstatement, which specifically requires the applicant to request or waive a hearing, and a reinstatement application. As part of the application process, the applicant must also submit a state and federal criminal record check and a waiver for release of information.
The information sought as part of the application includes an educational and employment history, a recitation of the misconduct, a personal statement why reinstatement should be granted, a description of rehabilitation efforts, and letters of reference. The Commission may elect to appoint a hearing officer to consider a reinstatement application or may consider the matter directly.
Publication and Department/School Entity Recommendations
In considering reinstatement, the Commission must seek the recommendation of the Department prior to entering an order. While the Commission must consider the Department’s recommendation, it is not binding on the Commission. The Commission must also request recommendations from the school entity or entities in which the educator was employed at the time of the misconduct. Finally, the Commission publishes notice of the application in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to allow for public comment.
Just and Proper Standard
The Commission will lift a suspension or reinstate a certificate if it is just and proper to do so. For purposes of determining whether it is just and proper, the Commission may consider the following factors:
- the conduct which resulted in discipline;
- other past conduct of the applicant;
- the applicant’s current attitude towards past conduct;
- rehabilitation efforts and activities;
- whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime listed in section 111(e) and (f.1) of the Public School Code of 1949; and
- references and letters of support or opposition.
When the Professional Educator Discipline Act was amended in 2000, the General Assembly placed certain restrictions on the Commission’s discretion to reinstate certification. Specifically, the Commission is barred from reinstating the certification or employment eligibility of any applicant who has been convicted of a crime or offense listed in section 111(e) of the Public School Code of 1949. In addition, subsection (f.1) of 24 P.S. §111 now creates an employment ban of 10, 5 and 3 years, respectively, when an educator is convicted of certain felonies, misdemeanors of the first degree and offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. The employment ban will be considered as one of the factors that the Commission considers in its determination whether reinstatement is just and proper.
In addition, the Act also prohibits the Commission from lifting a suspension or reinstating a certificate or employment eligibility if the discipline involved a “finding of guilt” for sexual abuse or exploitation or a surrender for conduct relating to sexual abuse or exploitation.
Applications for reinstatement can be obtained by contacting the Commission or by clicking on the link above. The Authorization Form included with the Application must be completed and submitted with the Application. In addition, a Criminal History Request Form (SP164), a Federal(FBI) Criminal History Record Information Report, and an Act 151 Child Abuse Background Check must be submitted and completed in full.