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In accordance with KRS 161.120, the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is responsible for suspending, revoking, and/or refusing issuance or renewal of the certificates of teachers and administrators who engage in misconduct. In addition, the EPSB may impose other conditions as it deems appropriate. The Division of Educator Ethics works closely with school district administrators, parents, social service agencies, law enforcement agencies, state and federal prosecutors, and the disciplinary units of other states to protect the children in Kentucky public schools and assist in ensuring that educators maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession.
Certified educators in the Commonwealth are bound by the Professional Code of Ethics. All persons seeking initial educator certification and all persons renewing their certificates are required to submit a character and fitness application regarding adverse employment actions, prior disciplinary matters, or criminal convictions. The Division of Educator Ethics processes approximately 250 Character and Fitness cases each year.
The Division also opens approximately 300 cases of educator misconduct, annually. Prosecutions are formal hearings conducted pursuant to KRS Chapter 13B. After investigation, if the EPSB prosecutor is unable to negotiate a settlement, formal charges are filed and the case is prosecuted before a hearing officer. The hearing officer then makes a recommended order to the EPSB, and the EPSB then issues a final order. Sanctions may include a suspension of the educator certificate for two years or less. The EPSB may also order a revocation of the educator certificate, which is deemed a permanent forfeiture. The EPSB may set a minimum period of time after which the educator may re-apply and attempt to demonstrate fitness to return to the profession.
A superintendent’s duty to report educator misconduct in his or her district is pursuant to KRS 161.120. The EPSB has created the Online Educator Complaint System for a superintendent or his or her designee to file these reports.
The EPSB also accepts reports of misconduct from members of the general public. To make a report of educator misconduct to the EPSB, please send a letter containing a detailed description of the alleged misconduct to the Division of Educator Ethics to the address listed below. The letter should include the name of the educator, the school district where the educator is employed, and the name of the specific school within the district if applicable. If a case is opened against an educator, the educator will be given a copy of the complaint for purposes of rebuttal. Please note that the EPSB does not accept anonymous complaints.
Link to policies and procedures for educator misconduct.