AMENDMENTS TO THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION ACT

LAWS OF NEW YORK, 2008
CHAPTER 296

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the automatic revocation and annulment of the teaching certificate of a teacher convicted of a sex offense; and to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to reporting sentences of certain school employees

Became a law July 21, 2008, with the approval of the Governor.
Passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.

EXPLANATION--Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law
to be omitted.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. Section 305 of the education law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 7-a to read as follows:
7-a. a. In addition to the authority to revoke and annul a certificate
of qualification of a teacher in a proceeding brought pursuant to subdi-
vision seven of this section, the commissioner shall be authorized, and
it shall be his or her duty, to revoke and annul in accordance with this
subdivision the teaching certificate of a teacher convicted of a sex
offense for which registration as a sex offender is required pursuant to
article six-C of the correction law.
b. As used in this subdivision, the following terms shall have the
following meanings:
(1) "conviction" means any conviction whether by plea of guilty or
nolo contendere or from a verdict after trial or otherwise;
(2) "sex offense" means an offense set forth in subdivision two or
three of section one hundred sixty-eight-a of the correction law,
including an offense committed in any jurisdiction for which the offen-
der is required to register as a sex offender in New York;
(3) "teacher" means any professional educator holding a teaching
certificate as defined in subparagraph four of this paragraph, including
but not limited to a classroom teacher, teaching assistant, pupil
personnel services professional, school administrator or supervisor or
superintendent of schools; and
(4) "teaching certificate" means the certificate or license or other
certificate of qualification granted to a teacher by any authority what-
soever.
c. Upon receipt of a certified copy of a criminal history record show-
ing that a teacher has been convicted of a sex offense or sex offenses
or upon receipt of notice of such a conviction as provided in paragraph
d of this subdivision, the commissioner shall automatically revoke and
annul the teaching certificate of such teacher without the right to a
hearing. The commissioner shall mail notice of the revocation and
annulment pursuant to this subdivision by certified mail, return receipt
requested, and by first-class mail directed to the teacher at such
teacher's last known address and, if different, the last address filed
by the certificate holder with the commissioner and to the teacher's
counsel of record in the criminal proceeding as reported in the notice
pursuant to paragraph d of this subdivision. Such notice shall inform
the teacher that his or her certificate has been revoked and annulled,
identify the sex offense or sex offenses of which the teacher has been
convicted and shall set forth the procedure to follow if the teacher
denies he or she is the person who has been so convicted. If such teach-
er notifies the commissioner in writing within twenty-five days after
the date of receipt of the notice that he or she is not the same person
as the convicted offender identified in the criminal record or identi-
fied pursuant to paragraph d of this subdivision, provides proof to
reasonably support such claim and the commissioner is satisfied the
proof establishes such claim, the commissioner shall, within five busi-
ness days of the receipt of such proof, restore such teacher's teaching
certificate retroactive to the date of revocation and annulment.
d. Upon conviction of a teacher of a sex offense defined in this
subdivision, the district attorney or other prosecuting authority who
obtained such conviction shall provide notice of such conviction to the
commissioner identifying the sex offense or sex offenses of which the
teacher has been convicted, the name and address of such offender and
other identifying information prescribed by the commissioner, including
the offender's date of birth and social security number, to the extent
consistent with federal and state laws governing personal privacy and
confidentiality of information. Such notice shall also include the name
and business address of the offender's counsel of record in the criminal
proceeding.
e. Upon receipt of proof that the conviction or convictions that
formed the basis for revocation and annulment of the teacher's teaching
certificate pursuant to this subdivision have been set aside upon appeal
or otherwise reversed, vacated or annulled, the commissioner shall be
required to conduct a due process hearing pursuant to subdivision seven
of this section and part eighty-three of title eight of the New York
codes, rules and regulations prior to making a determination as to
whether to reinstate the teacher's original teaching certificate. Such
determination shall be made within ninety days after such proof has been
received.
f. Except as provided in paragraph g of this subdivision, and notwith-
standing any other provision of law to the contrary, a teacher shall be
reinstated to his or her position of employment in a public school, with
full back pay and benefits from the date his or her certificate was
revoked or annulled to the date of such reinstatement, under the follow-
ing circumstances:
(i) The termination of employment was based solely on the conviction
of a sex offense, or the revocation or annulment of a certificate based
on such conviction, and such conviction has been set aside on appeal or
otherwise reversed, vacated or annulled and the commissioner has rein-
stated the teacher's certification pursuant to paragraph e of this
subdivision; or
(ii) The termination of employment was based solely on the conviction
of a sex offense and it has been determined that the teacher is not the
same person as the convicted offender.
g. If a teacher's employment was terminated as a result of a discipli-
nary proceeding conducted pursuant to section three thousand twenty-a of
this chapter or other disciplinary hearing conducted pursuant to any
collective bargaining or contractual agreement on one or more grounds
other than conviction of a sex offense, or the revocation or annulment
of a certificate based on such conviction, then nothing in paragraph f
of this subdivision shall require a school district to reinstate employ-
ment of such teacher or be liable for back pay or benefits.
h. No provision of this article shall be deemed to preclude the
following: (i) the commissioner from conducting a due process hearing
pursuant to subdivision seven of this section and part eighty-three of
title eight of the New York codes, rules and regulations; or (ii) a
school district or employing board from bringing a disciplinary proceed-
ing pursuant to section three thousand twenty-a of this chapter; or
(iii) a school district or employing board from bringing an alternative
disciplinary proceeding conducted pursuant to a collective bargaining or
contractual agreement.
i. The commissioner shall be authorized to promulgate any regulations
necessary to implement the provisions of this subdivision.
§ 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 3020-a of the education
law, as amended by chapter 691 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read
as follows:
(b) The employee may be suspended pending a hearing on the charges and
the final determination thereof. The suspension shall be with pay,
except the employee may be suspended without pay if the employee has
entered a guilty plea to or has been convicted of a felony crime
concerning the criminal sale or possession of a controlled substance, a
precursor of a controlled substance, or drug paraphernalia as defined in
article two hundred twenty or two hundred twenty-one of the penal law;
or a felony crime involving the physical [or sexual] abuse of a minor or
student. The employee shall be terminated without a hearing, as
provided for in this section, upon conviction of a sex offense, as
defined in subparagraph two of paragraph b of subdivision seven-a of
section three hundred five of this chapter.
§ 3. The criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new section
380.95 to read as follows:
§ 380.95 Reporting convictions of certain school employees.
Upon conviction of a teacher, as defined in subparagraph three of
paragraph b of subdivision seven-a of section three hundred five of the
education law, of a sex offense or sex offenses defined in subparagraph
two of paragraph b of subdivision seven-a of section three hundred five
of the education law, the district attorney or other prosecuting author-
ity who obtained such conviction shall provide notice of such conviction
to the commissioner of education identifying the sex offense or sex
offenses of which the teacher has been convicted, the name and address
of such offender and other identifying information prescribed by the
commissioner of education, including the offender's date of birth and
social security number, to the extent consistent with federal and state
laws governing personal privacy and confidentiality of information. Such
district attorney or other prosecuting authority shall include in such
notice the name and business address of the offender's counsel of record
in the criminal proceeding.
§ 4. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to
convictions of teachers occurring on or after such date.

The Legislature of the STATE OF NEW YORK ss:
Pursuant to the authority vested in us by section 70-b of the Public
Officers Law, we hereby jointly certify that this slip copy of this
session law was printed under our direction and, in accordance with such
section, is entitled to be read into evidence.

JOSEPH L. BRUNO
Temporary President of the Senate
SHELDON SILVER
Speaker of the Assembly