CENTRE DAILY TIMES

JULY 1972

 

Acanfora Has No Job In State

Joseph Acanfora, a university graduate and a homosexual by his own definition, probably will not be teaching in Pennsylvania

public schools, at least not this year.

Graduated in the College of education:, this spring with unquestioned academic qualification to teach earth and space sciences, Mr. Acanfora has yet to receive certification to teach from the Department of’ Education.

A staff :aide in the office of Education Secretary John Pittenger said yesterday that the secretary “has indicated that it will be a little time yet before a decision is made.”

In the meantime, Mr. Acanfora has been unable to get a teaching job in Pennsylvania public schools, which open in less than a month. “I haven’t even been able to get an interview (without a certificate),” Mr. Acanfora said yesterday.

Mr. Acanfora’s application for certification was sent to the secretary’s office without recommendation from the university after the university Teacher Certification Council deadlocked in a 3-3 decision.

The vote among the six academic deans on the Council followed several meetings on the Acanfora application, the last of’ which was held July 10 with the graduate whom they questioned; concerning his avowed homosexuality and its possible effects on his teaching efficiency.

On July 18 Mr. Pittenger received the application with Mr. Acanfora’s academic records and. a transcript of the Council discussion with him.

At that time Mr. Pittenger said he would study the legal aspects of certification in the case, estimating it would take several weeks. Since then, he has spent 10 days in California attending the Chief State Officers convention, and returned this week.

The Pittenger aide said that the secretary has been very busy since, that he still is in the process of consulting with legal counsel and that no statement will be made until there is a final decision.

Contacted by The Times yesterday, Mr. Acanfora said he is several thousand dollars in debt with loans for his education and that he is considering, a teaching position in another state.

Mr. Acanfora is one of four plaintiffs in a suit filed in February by Homophiles of Penn State against the University, which is pending in Centre County court. He was released from student teaching at the Park Forest Junior High School three days, after the suit was filed, then was reinstated  in a week by court order.