Character & Fitness
Pursuant to KRS 161.120, all new teachers, substitutes, and education personnel renewing their certificates are required to submit a character and fitness application to the EPSB Division of Legal Services. There, the application is reviewed and prepared for presentation to the board. Upon a decision by the board, the applicant is notified and the application is then forwarded to the Division of Certification further processing.
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. EPSB legal staff 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 Legal Services processes approximately 250 Character and Fitness cases each year.
The Division of Legal Services also opens approximately 300 cases of educator misconduct, annually. Prosecutions are formal trial-like 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.
Superintendents are mandated to report incidents of misconduct which happen in their districts. 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 Legal Services, at 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.
Education Professional Standards Board
100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor
Frankfort , Kentucky 40601
Educator Misconduct Complaint and Hearing Process Flowchart
PDF Version of the Professional Code of Ethics Brochure (en Español)
EPSB Policies and Procedures
Return to the Ethics Home Page
Contact the EPSB Division of Legal Services
EPSB Notice of Non-Discrimination