Convicted Teachers?

One Colorado legislator says the fact that more than 50 convicted felons are teaching in the state is proof the licensing system isn't working the way it should.

Now, some lawmakers are proposing more legislation to curb the problem. House Bill 11-76 would tighten loopholes that allow convicted felons to teach in Colorado. And it would require courts to report teachers' felony convictions to the Department of Education. That is currently not part of the system.

The Security Chief for D-11 here in Colorado Springs, Larry Borland, admits it is possible an educator could be convicted of a felony and still hold a teaching license. He says, in those cases, the teacher was likely convicted of a non-violent crime, and not one involving children or drugs.

Under current law a school district may not be notified when a current teacher is found guilty of a felony or misdeameanor. But, those applying for teaching positions are always fingerprinted and subject to criminal background checks.

Under the proposed House Bill 11-76 re-fingerprinting could be required for teachers to get a license renewal as well.

The House Education Committee is set to begin discussion on the measure Wednesday.