Can a Chapter Leader, excluded from his school pending disciplinary charges, be prevented from attending School Leadership Team meetings?

Yes. Francesco Portelos, the duly elected Chapter Leader at IS 49 in Staten Island, was reassigned pending a SCI investigation and, by letter, notified that he was not to return to IS 49 without prior written permission and that any school activities he had participated in would remain suspended until the resolution of the matter.

As Chapter Leader Portelos is a mandated member of the School Leadership Team and commenced an Article 78 proceeding to challenge his exclusion from the Team. Justice Cynthia Kern initially ruled that the petition was time-barred since it was filed almost one year after he was excluded from the meetings.

Kern ruled that even if the petition was timely she would denied the relief requested because DOE’s policy of exclusion was rational and in accordance with its policies and procedures. Chancellor’s Regulation A-655 provides that mandatory members attend the meetings the regulation “does not confer a right upon such member if they are prohibited from entering the school or participating in school activities due to administrative reassignment and/or pending charges of misconduct.”

Portelos also argued that the school violated the Open Meetings Law, POL Section 103 by excluding him. Kern ruled that School Leadership Teams were advisory in nature and not subject to the Open Meetings Law.

Portelos v. NYCDOE


2 thoughts on “Can a Chapter Leader, excluded from his school pending disciplinary charges, be prevented from attending School Leadership Team meetings?

  1. The DOE did not make an official statement about preventing me from attending the SLT until February 5, 2013. On that day, a letter from lawyer Robin Singer was passed around and team members were told to sign. We filed timely from that date. In addition, the DOE fails to state what policy they referred to when they decided to move me from the school instead of keeping me in house to do administrative duties. As you can see from my website,, I have no allegations about being a threat to children. I was also elected Chapter Leader after i was reassigned.

    The SLT, is not just advisory. We vote on federally funded budgetary allocations. NYSUT is looking into appealing.

    You may also be interested in this more recent win to confirm an arbitration decision:

    Francesco Portelos

    • What do you mean “NYSUT is looking into appealing?” NYSUT is your lawyer. The lawyer does not decide to appeal, the client does. If the judge’s decision is incorrect don’t wait for NYSUT to give you permission to appeal. You only have thirty days to file a notice of appeal.

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