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UEA Settles Lawsuit with State Board

8/15/2016

Board agrees to change rules to comply with state law

Members of the Utah State Board of Education voted during their August 12 meeting to settle a lawsuit brought against them by the UEA. As part of the settlement, the board agreed to repeal and replace teacher discipline rules challenged in the suit.

“We’re pleased that the state board recognized the need to make changes,” said UEA Legal Counsel Tracey Watson. “The revised rules approved by the board in this settlement more fully comply with state law and preserve the constitutional rights of Utah teachers.”

The settlement ends UEA’s legal challenge, which was filed against the board December 21 for failure to comply with the Utah Rule Making Act. The UEA claimed that the board’s failure to follow the act resulted in the implementation of rules that harm licensed educators because the rules denied educators due process and deprived them of certain legal rights. These rules impact the processes used by the State Board and the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC) regarding educator licensing and discipline for findings of educator professional misconduct.

The lawsuit followed multiple attempts by UEA to work collaboratively with the Utah State Board of Education to implement rules that comply with state law. These attempts included providing written comments, requesting and speaking at public hearings and speaking directly with members of the board to express concerns. The lawsuit was a last resort, forcing the board to negotiate with UEA attorneys to create the revised rules that comply with state law and preserve educator rights, according to Watson.

The UEA retained the law firm of Strindberg & Scholnick to assist in representing teachers in this litigation
.

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