Articles Posted in Education Law

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Plaintiffs filed two actions - the NYSER action and the Aristy-Farer action - contending that the State had violated the Education Article by failing to provide students with a sound basic education. Supreme Court denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss Plaintiffs’ respective complaints. In the NYSER action, the Appellate Division affirmed as modified to dismiss Plaintiffs’ third cause of action. In the Aristy-Farer action, the Appellate Division modified to dismiss the second and third causes of a action. The Court of Appeals held (1) the NYSER plaintiffs’ first and second causes of action did not survive a motion to dismiss; (2) the third cause of action in the NYSER action survives as to New York City and Syracuse school districts; (3) the fourth cause of action in the NYSER action is sufficiently pleaded as to New York City and Syracuse; and (4) all causes of action in the Aristy-Farer are dismissed. View "Aristy-Farer v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Education Law

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The Statewide Central Register maintained by the State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) received information alleging educational neglect by Petitioners. OCFS referred the report to the Westchester County Department of Social Services, Office of Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS decided that the case was eligible to proceed under the Family Assessment Response Track (FAR track) but submitted the case for closure in the month after the report was received, without recommending services. Thereafter, Petitioners wrote to OCFS to request expungement of the FAR records and report. The Director of the OCFS Central Register stated that OCFS could not comply with Petitioners’ request because Petitioners had been placed on the FAR track rather than the standard investigative track. Petitioners then commenced this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding against OCFS and the Director, challenging OCFS’s denial of the opportunity for Petitioners to seek early expungement of the educational neglect report. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the statutory procedure allowing for early expungement of reports relating to alleged child abuse does not apply when the parents are not formally investigated but instead are assigned to the FAR track pursuant to N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law 427-a. View "Corrigan v. New York State Office of Children & Family Services" on Justia Law

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After achieving tenure at Food and Finance High School, Petitioner voluntarily resigned from his teaching position. Petitioner was later hired as a teacher at Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual arts. Petitioner received a rating of “unsatisfactory” for the school year and, consequently, was terminated. Petitioner brought this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding arguing that he was a tenured teacher upon his reappointment, and therefore, his termination without just cause and without following the procedures in N.Y. Educ. Law 3020-a was unlawful, arbitrary and capricious, or an abuse of discretion. Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The Appellate Division affirmed on a different ground, holding that when Petitioner was rehired, his tenure was not ipso facto restored. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) a tenured teacher who resigns, and who later seeks to return as a tenured teacher must strictly comply with paragraph 29 of New York City Board of Education Chancellor’s Regulation C-205 (C-205(29)) and submit a written request to withdraw his prior resignation; and (2) absent a request to withdraw his resignation, Petitioner failed to meet the requirements of C-205(29) for reinstatement with tenure. View "Springer v. Board of Education" on Justia Law

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After David Powers had completed three semesters as a part-time law school student at St. John’s University School of Law, the law school discovered that Powers had made material misrepresentations and omissions in his law school application regarding his criminal history. St. John’s subsequently rescinded Powers’s admission based on the application’s material omissions and misrepresentations. Powers subsequently brought this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 28 proceeding against the law school. The Appellate Division concluded that St. John’s determination to rescind Petitioner’s admission was not arbitrary and capricious and did not warrant judicial intervention. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the law school’s penalty of rescission for Powers’s failure to truthfully and fully disclose his record was not excessive. View "Powers v. St. John's Univ. Sch. of Law" on Justia Law

Posted in: Education Law

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After School District notified Petitioner, a tenured school social worker, that she was to be suspended without pay for misconduct, Petitioner made a written request for a hearing on the specifications pursuant to N.Y. Educ. Law 3020-a. In response, Respondent told Petitioner that she could only challenge the disciplinary determination against her by means of the procedures set forth in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the School District and a teachers association. Petitioner grieved the matter under the process specified in the CBA, without success. Petitioner then commenced this N.Y. CPLR 78 proceeding to annul the disciplinary determination, asserting that she had been disciplined without being afforded the process to which she was entitled under the Education Law. The Appellate Court granted the petition. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that because section 3020-a plainly provides that, in any CBA taking effect on or after September 1, 1994, tenured employees must be permitted to elect the discipline procedures set forth in section 3020-a, and because the governing renegotiated CBA became effective in 2006, Petitioner was not foreclosed from invoking the statutory procedure. View "Matter of Kilduff v. Rochester City Sch. Dist." on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether the Education Law permits Nassau County to charge back to the Town of North Hempstead amounts the County paid on behalf of Town residents attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The Town commenced this proceeding seeking a declaration that the County lacked authority to charge back FIT expenses to the Town. Supreme Court found that the County was entitled to collect chargebacks from the Town and that the County was entitled to offset the Town’s resulting liability by retaining the amount owed from the Town’s share of County sales tax revenue. The Appellate Division concluded that the County was required to adopt a formal resolution in order to authorize its treasurer to collect the chargebacks and that the County was not entitled to offset the amounts owed by the Town against the sales tax revenue. The Court of Appeals modified to uphold the County’s offsetting of the Town’s liability for FIT chargebacks from sales tax revenue, without requiring the issuance of a new resolution, and as so modified, affirmed. View "Matter of Town of N. Hempstead v. County of Nassau" on Justia Law

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Petitioners were paraprofessionals employed in the New York City schools and were defendants in civil suits brought by students who alleged that Petitioners hit them. Petitioners did not dispute the actions they were found to have committed violated a rule of the Board of Regents prohibiting corporal punishment. Both petitioners asked the City of New York to defend the lawsuits for them. The City refused in both cases. Petitioners brought these proceedings to annual the City's determinations, and the lower courts dismissed the proceedings. The Court of Appeals reversed and annulled the challenged determination, holding that employees of the New York City Department of Education who are sued for using corporal punishment are entitled to a defense provided by the City even though the employees' conduct violated a State regulation. Remitted for further proceedings. View "Sagal-Cotler v. Bd. of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of N.Y." on Justia Law

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Public school students filed complaints with the SDHR, claiming that their respective school districts engaged in an "unlawful discriminatory practice" under Article 15 of the Executive Law, Executive Law 290, et seq. At issue on these appeals was whether a public school district was an "education corporation or association" as contemplated by Executive Law 296(4). The court concluded that it was not, and therefore, SDHR lacked jurisdiction to investigate complaints made against public school districts under that provision. View "Matter of North Syracuse Cent. School Dist. v New York State Div. of Human Rights" on Justia Law

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This case arose when the superintendent of the school district preferred eight charges of misconduct and/or incompetence against petitioner, then the business manager for the school district. At issue was whether persons who have testified in a Civil Service 75 disciplinary hearing were required to disqualify themselves from subsequently acting upon any of the charges related to that hearing. The court held that, because the testimony of the testifying witnesses, concerning the charges levied pursuant to section 75, rendered them personally involved in the disciplinary process, disqualification was necessary. View "Matter of Baker v Poughkeepsie City School Dist." on Justia Law

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These cases called upon the court to decide whether petitioners were required to exhaust an available internal appeal procedure before challenging the termination of their probationary employment at the City of New York's Department of Education (DOE). The DOE was obligated by its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the United Federation of Teachers and its own bylaws to afford probationary employees the opportunity for reconsideration of a decision to discontinue their employment. The court held that the DOE's decisions were "final and binding" within the meaning of CPLR 217(1) as of the dates when petitioners' probationary services ended. Petitioners awaited the outcome of the internal reviews provided for under the CBA and the DOE's bylaws before commencing suit. But these reviews "stem[] solely from the [CBA]" and constituted "an optional procedure under which a teacher may ask [DOE] to reconsider and reverse [its] initial decision, ... which was final and which, when made, in all respects terminated the employment of a probationer under Education Law 2573(1)(a);" they were not administrative remedies that petitioners were required to exhaust before litigating the termination of their probationary employment. As a result, petitioners' lawsuits brought more than four months after the dates when their probationary service ended, were time-barred. View "Kahn v New York City Dept. of Educ.; In the Matter of Doreen Nash v Board of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. etc." on Justia Law