How Convictions Affect Licensure

ODE's Office of Professional Conduct investigates allegations involving criminal convictions or conduct unbecoming the teaching profession and, if warranted, pursues disciplinary or remedial action against an educator’s credentials or application for credentials.

General Questions


General Questions

    Is an educator who has a criminal conviction eligible for employment and licensure?

    In September 2005, the State Board of Education adopted a revision to the administrative rule regarding licensure and employment of individuals with certain criminal convictions (Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-20-01).  With the adoption of this rule, the State Board solidified the link between eligibility for licensure and eligibility for employment. The rule provides a definitive list of offenses that are an absolute bar for initial licensure and initial employment. If an individual has been convicted of or pled guilty to any of the offenses identified in the rule as an absolute bar offense, he/she cannot obtain an initial teaching credential and cannot be employed by a school district.

    For certain other listed offenses, the rule provides rehabilitation criteria which an individual must meet to become eligible for initial licensure and initial employment. For these offenses, the State Board may choose to license and an employer may choose to employ an individual, if the individual meets the rehabilitation criteria set forth in the rule.

    The below matrix provides assistance in implementing the requirements of OAC Rule 3301-20-01. The matrix lists the offenses identified as absolute bar offenses and the offenses which require an individual to show rehabilitation before becoming eligible for initial licensure and employment. The matrix also specifies the rehabilitation criteria.

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    If an educator has a teaching license can a school district employ the educator?

    The effect of this administrative rule is that if an individual applying for an initial teaching license is granted such a license, the individual is then eligible for employment.

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    What happens if a licensed educator is convicted of a criminal offense?

    Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-20-01 makes a distinction between individuals who are applying for initial licensure and employment and educators who are already licensed and employed. If a licensed educator is convicted of or pleads guilty to any of the offenses referred to in the rule, the State Board can pursue a disciplinary action against the educator’s license pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §3319.31 .In addition, the employing district can pursue disciplinary action regarding the educator’s employment.

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    Can a licensed educator convicted of a criminal offense be rehabilitated?

    In keeping with the State Board’s intent to link licensure and employment, Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-20-01 addresses rehabilitation for educators who are convicted of or pled guilty to any of the offenses in the rule. The rule specifies that if an educator satisfies all the terms and conditions of a Consent Agreement or a State Board-adopted resolution pertaining to the educator, he/she shall be deemed rehabilitated with regard to the specific offense addressed in the Consent Agreement or resolution for purposes of future licensure or employment. However, a school district maintains the discretion whether to employ an educator who has been rehabilitated through satisfying the terms and conditions of a Consent Agreement or State Board adopted resolution.

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Last Modified: 5/8/2013 3:48:11 PM