The Commission is authorized by statute to take any of the following actions against an educator’s license.  Each sanction from most severe to least sever is explained based on previous Commission actions.  {For purposes of brevity, use of the term “license” in this section also means any charter school registration or school nurse certification.} 
 
Sanctions are permanent actions against an educator’s license.  All Commission final sanctions are filed with the National Association of State Director’s of Teacher Education and Certification’s (NASDTEC) Clearinghouse.  The Clearinghouse information is available to all state educator licensure agencies. The Commission does not have the authority to remove an educator’s sanction on a license unless the underlying basis for the sanction (such as a conviction of a crime) has been over-ruled or dismissed by a court of law.  [The Commission makes every effort to not take a final action until all criminal matters or outstanding employment issues (Fair Dismissal Appeals Board) have been fully resolved.]
 
If the educator has multiple licenses, any sanction will apply to all of those licenses.
 
Revocations (Permanent):  The Commission is only allowed to revoke the license or licenses of an educator forever if the educator is convicted of one of the crimes enumerated in TSPC statute [ORS 342.143(3)] and also in TSPC administrative rule [OAR 584-020-0040(1)]. There are just over 60 crimes for which an educator may permanently lose his or her license. The Commission may revoke the license on the basis of the conviction alone for any one of the listed crimes.
 
Revocations (Temporary):  The Commission may revoke the license or licenses of an educator who has engaged in conduct that is so serious that the Commission believes the educator should not be allowed to continue in the profession.
 
Revocations under this category are absolute for one year.  After one year following the date of the revocation order, the educator may apply to the Commission for reinstatement of any licenses revoked by the Commission. The Commission never revokes a license for a period of less than one year. The educator may not apply prior to one year following the date of the revocation order. 
 
All requests for reinstatement of a revoked license are handled solely by the Commission. By administrative rule, (OAR 584-050-0018), the applicant for reinstatement must appear personally before the full Commission and be subjected to questioning regarding the educator’s fitness to be reinstated into the profession. The burden is on the educator to prove fitness to engage in the profession (e.g., what has the educator done to mitigate or change the probability that future misconduct is unlikely.)  Accordingly, if an educator cannot prove fitness, the Commission may deny the educator’s application for reinstatement.
 
Suspensions:  A suspension is generally given when the Commission believes the conduct is very serious and the Commission wants to send a message to the educator regarding the severity of the conduct and to the profession in general. (See, Factors Influencing Discipline, below.) A suspension also means that the Commission does not believe the educator should be removed from the profession, and following the period of suspension, the educator’s license(s) will be reinstated provided no further misconduct has occurred.
 
The Commission is authorized to suspend an educator’s license up to one year.  The Commission may not suspend for a period greater than one year.  Suspensions by Commission practice are usually proposed in the following increments: 30 days; 60 days; 90 days; 120 days (rare); 6 months; 9 months; 1 year.
 
The Commission may attach conditions for reinstatement of the license to any suspension such as: an alcohol evaluation; an anger-management evaluation; treatment; etc.  An educator may apply for reinstatement six weeks prior to the expiration of the period of suspension, but may not be reinstated until the full suspension period has expired.  The Commission grants the Executive Director the discretion to reinstate suspended licenses. (OAR 584-050-0016). If the Executive Director believes some circumstance requires Commission review, the reinstatement will be referred to the Commission.
 
Reprimand:  A reprimand is given when the Commission finds the educator has violated Commission standards for professional conduct (OAR 584, Division 20); but is not so serious as to rise to the level of suspending the educator’s right to practice education for any period of time.  A reprimand is a public sanction and is reported to the NASDTEC Clearinghouse similarly to suspensions and revocations.
 
Probation:  Probation allows the Commission to impose a monitoring period upon an educator’s license.  Probation may stand alone or be added to any suspension or reprimand.  Probation is generally an indicator that the Commission believes it is important to keep tabs on the educator’s conduct for a brief period of time.  Probations may not exceed four years by statute.  They may be for any period of time, but are always imposed in one year increments. The probation may consist of terms such as drug testing, or reports to the Commission of compliance with the terms of probation.
 
Informal Letter of Reproval:  This is the lowest level of Commission action related to a license. The Informal Letter of Reproval has only been available to the Commission since 2009.[1]  The Informal Letter of Reproval is only issued when the educator has engaged in reprimand level of misconduct, but other circumstances convince the Commission that the educator is entitled to an opportunity to have the charges dismissed.  The Informal Letter of Reproval is similar to a “diversion.”  Following the Commission’s decision to charge the educator with misconduct, the educator is offered the opportunity to agree to the Informal Letter of Reproval and some length of monitoring period up to four years.  If the educator agrees, the terms of the letter are only shared with the educator’s employer as a means to assist the educator; otherwise, the letter remains confidential.  Additionally, following the successful completion of the terms of an Informal Letter of Reproval, the Commission agrees to dismiss the allegations.  At that point, the record (investigation report, etc.) are “sealed” and the charges are dismissed.


[1] The 2009 Legislature only allowed the Informal Letter of Reproval for use by the Commission until June 2012, and attached a “sunset” provision to the statute.  The sunset was to allow for a trial period and required a report back to the Legislature regarding the Letter’s success.  During the 2012 Legislative Session, the sunset was repealed (removed); and the Commission is now allowed to use the Informal Letter of Reproval indefinitely.