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Legislation Would Have Convicted Teachers Pay Legal Bills

When a teacher is convicted of a crime the legal costs can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in many cases the school district is stuck with that bill.

“School districts can no longer afford to spend money on unnecessary expenditures, and this is certainly one of those,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-Philadelphia).

Williams has thrown his support behind House Bill 1832, which was introduced by Sen. Will Tallman (R-Adams), by introducing the Senate version SB 1175. The bills would shift the legal and court-related costs back to the teacher or administrator convicted of the crime against a student.

“If you have something to sell then you have to liquidate it and pay your cost,” Williams said. “It is not our responsibility, society’s, to pay for your illicit behavior.”

Williams believes the bill not only protect a school district’s bottom line but also the integrity of the taxpayers. 

“It’s morally reprehensible for anyone to be convicted of these type of crimes and for the public to be paying for their defense,” Williams said.

While Williams said he is fully behind the measures he said he will not be putting his full effort into their passage just yet. First he would like to get his “Pass the Trash” bill approved. SB 46 is aimed at preventing a teacher who was dismissed or disciplined by one district for abuse or sexual misconduct, from going to another district and starting again with a clean slate. 

According to Williams, the bill is one vote away from passage and being sent on to the governor for his signature.