State board: Gilbert charter school violated state law by hiring teacher

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San Tan Charter School wasn't fined for hiring a teacher who had his teaching certificate revoked. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) San Tan Charter School wasn't fined for hiring a teacher who had his teaching certificate revoked. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The school adjusted how they hire teachers after breaking the law. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The school adjusted how they hire teachers after breaking the law. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Oscar Rosero's had his teaching certificate revoked for lying on an application and having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student at a different charter school in 2010. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Oscar Rosero's had his teaching certificate revoked for lying on an application and having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student at a different charter school in 2010. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The board that oversees Arizona charter schools and investigates them said a Gilbert charter school broke the law by hiring a teacher that they shouldn't have.

The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools revealed San Tan Charter School shouldn't have hired a P.E. teacher because state law says charters schools aren't allowed to hire teachers who've had teaching certificates revoked.

Last month, a concerned parent complained on social media after learning about Oscar Rosero's past, which included a revoked teaching certificate for lying on an application and having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student at a different charter school in 2010.

[READ MORE: Gilbert charter school teacher fired over 2010 misconduct]

On Wednesday, San Tan Charter principal, Kristopher Sippel, didn’t answer direct questions but provided the letter sent home to parents and explained what steps the school will be taking to ensure the hiring mistake doesn’t happen again.

“For me, there is a missing connection between the OACIS search and the ADPS fingerprint card search; these two organizations should and sites should be reporting to each other,” he said.

OACIS, or the Online Arizona Certification Information System, is where anyone can look up if a teacher has a revoked teaching certificate.

In Sippel’s first letter about the situation to parents, he explained Rosero did pass a background and fingerprint check.

To meet compliance with state law, the school had to provide a list of its full 2017-2018 staff and prove that it used OACIS to check if its staff did not have revoked teaching certificates by Dec. 18, 2017, to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.

In addition, the school had to show it changed its hiring practices to include looking up if teachers had revoked teaching certificates by Dec. 29, 2017.

The school met its deadlines, so it didn’t have to pay any fines. The only punishment the school received was a red mark on its operational dashboard, a public online way to measure the school’s performance. It received “falls far below” the standard with an asterisk explaining the violation has been fixed.

According to paperwork and correspondence obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, a letter between Principal Sippel and Ashley Berg, executive director of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools noted that, “San Tan Montessori School Inc. received a call from Garnett Winters, Chief Investigator, Arizona Department of Education informing us that A.R.S. 15-183 (c ) (5) prohibits charter schools from hiring someone with a revoked teaching certificate. Ms. Winters explained that not many charter schools appear aware of this particular statute.”

If that’s the case, how many other charter school teachers have slipped through the cracks?

Arizona's Family reached out to the Department of Education for a response but did not hear back in time for the deadline. We’ll let you know when they respond.

As for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, Berg replied in an e-mail, “When the Board was made aware of the issue at San Tan, we immediately sent out guidance to all schools statewide. Additionally, the State Board of Education, the Charter Board, and the Charter Association are working together to develop training for Charter HR Personnel. When Board staff conduct site visits as part of the internal review and renewal processes, information regarding 15-183(C)(5) is provided to the school administrator. This same technical assistance will also be part of visits to schools during the first year of operation in the fall of 2018.”

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