Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Donald Evans works for more than 18 months without renewed credentials

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Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Donald Evans worked for more than 18 months without renewing his credentials.

Evans’ contract requires the serving superintendent to maintain his credentials in administrative services and multiple subject teaching. As first reported by Berkeleyside, both credentials had lapsed between July 1, 2014, and Jan. 4, 2016, according to Sid Haro, chief of personnel and leadership for the Alameda County Office of Education, in a letter to the school board.

The renewal process for Evans’ credentials is a formality and only requires payment to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, according to an email from Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, president of the BUSD Board of Education.

“The experience, knowledge and education is what qualifies a superintendent for the administrative credential,” Leyva-Cutler said in an email, not the payment itself.

According to Haro’s letter, “it is not uncommon for employees with expired credentials” to go unnoticed by their district or county, as the Alameda County Office of Education conducts certification audits every four years.

Unlike the Berkeley school district, in Hayward and Compton, California — where Evans previously worked — there is a protocol of informing district employees when their credentials will soon lapse, according to Leyva-Cutler’s email.

Evans is now working with the school district’s human resources department to implement a similar notification system in Berkeley so that his predicament can be avoided in the future, she added.

Evans could not be reached for comment.

“While it is … important to have a valid credential, it is more important that we have a superintendent that demonstrates knowledge (and) experience in producing the positive outcomes for our students and our district,” Leyva-Cutler said in an email.

Under the California Education Code, a district’s governing board of education has the ability to retroactively waive the credential requirement for the chief administrative officer in a school district.

On Wednesday, the school board will discuss a resolution to waive Evans’ credential validity requirements during the 18-month period that the credentials were lapsed.

Contact Anjali Banerjee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @abanerjee_dc.