Educators whose certificates or employment eligibility have been suspended, revoked or surrendered in lieu of discipline may apply to the PSPC for an order lifting the suspension or reinstating their certification or employment eligibility. In considering reinstatement, the PSPC must seek the recommendation of the Department prior to entering an order. While the PSPC must consider the Department's recommendation, it is not binding on the PSPC. Once the Department's recommendation is issued, the PSPC publishes notice of the application in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to allow for public comment.
The PSPC will lift a suspension or reinstate a certificate or employment eligibility if it is just and proper to do so. For purposes of determining whether it is just and proper, the PSPC 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
- references and letters of support or opposition
When the Act was amended in 2000, the General Assembly placed certain restrictions on the PSPC's discretion to reinstate. Specifically, any applicant who was convicted of a crime or offense listed in section 111(e)(1) – (3) of the Public School Code of 1949 is now permanently barred from applying for reinstatement.
In addition, the Act now prohibits the PSPC 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.