Will the Court decide whether a school district must reassign a tenured teacher to a similar tenure area when her position is eliminated?

No. In 2003, the Board of Education of the Deer Park Union Free School District (hereinafter the Board of Education) voted to grant Regina Moriatis tenure in the position of “computer teacher.” In 2009, her position as “computer teacher” was abolished. Moriatis filed a proceeding to compel the Board of Education to “reclassify” her “into an accepted tenure area,” yet to be determined, and to reinstate her as a full-time teacher in that tenure area, with back pay and benefits.

The Appellate Division, Second Department denied the application deferring to the “expertise” of the State Commissioner of Education to make this determination.

The Court held that “It is within the unique knowledge and expertise of the Commissioner of Education to determine the factual issues of whether the petitioner has tenure in an accepted tenure area, and whether her former position, and any new position which she may seek, are similar in nature.”

In the Matter of Regina Moraitis, respondent-appellant, v Board of Education Deer Park Union Free School District, appellant-respondent. (Index No. 6334/09), 2010-01817, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 2011 NY Slip Op 4254;  2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4171,  May 17, 2011, Decided

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