Will the claim that a teacher had child care issues and her principal evidenced bias cause a probation termination to be reversed?

No. Although she had a prior satisfactory teaching history before she went off payroll, the appellant in this matter was placed on probation. While on probation she had observation and attendance issues. The teacher claimed that her own child care issues and her principal’s animus toward her, due to the child care issues, were the source of her poor observations. She also sought to withdraw her previous resignation which she found out before her termination that she did not need to be on probation.

The court below found that the court challenge to the teacher’s attempt to withdraw her previous resignation was untimely. Additionally the DOE’s termination was not based on any prejudice or bias and was not made in bad faith as the need of the orderly running of the school outweighed her child care issue.

The Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed.

This case must be seen in the context of the procedural position it occured. While discrimination can and is often the basis of bad faith in this instance the requirement that a teacher not be excessively absent will not be lessened, necessarily, due to child care issues. Had the teacher filed her proceeding challenging her prior resignation she might not have been terminated as she would have her tenure where termination is legally more difficult. Tenure restoration after resignation can generally be restored within 5 years. See Chancellor’s Regulation C-205.

In the Matter of Bababunmi Adelana, Appellant, v. New York City Department of Education et al., Respondents. 194 A.D.3d 463 (2021)143 N.Y.S.3d 5402021 NY Slip Op 02976, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department. Decided May 11, 2021.

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Will an arbitrator’s decision to accept a letter from a charged teacher stating she will not seek employment as a teacher in the school district be accepted so that no 3020-a hearing will be held?

Yes. While a teacher’s charges were pending she submitted an “irrevocable Letter of Resignation for the purposes of retirement” and that she “[had] no plans to, nor [would she] apply to work [for petitioner] in the future.” She added that her retirement application had been accepted by the New York State Teacher’s Retirement System and that she “will not request or otherwise act in any manner to withdraw [her] resignation.”

The arbitrator accepted the letter and submitted an award dismissing the case, finding that a hearing was not required.

The Syracuse school district sought to have the arbitrator’s award vacated. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, confirmed the award and accepted the resignation without a disciplinary hearing.

Rationale: While there were some procedural wrinkles in this case, there is ample precedent for accepting an irrevocable letter of resignation. Clearly the school district wanted to go to hearing to allow the State to bar the teacher from ever teaching again. The Court, while specifically finding that this was not necessary, was satisfied that there are adequate safeguards against this from happening.

SYRACUSE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Petitioner-Appellant, and
ROCHELLE GILBERT (RAY), Respondent-Respondent.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department.Decided March 26, 2021

Is a tenured teacher who resigns from teaching and then subsequently applies and is hired to teach at another school automatically entitled to tenure in the new position?

No. Chancellor’s Regulation C­205 provides that a tenured teacher who resigns “remain[s ] tenured,” but requires the teacher to first submit a written request to withdraw his or her resignation, subject to a medical examination and the approval of the Chancellor.

The petitioner, a culinary arts teacher attained tenure in his license area and then resigned from the DOE to pursue a professional culinary career. Within 5 years he applied for and obtained a position in the same license area at a different school.

His principal advised him that he did not have tenure and upon further inquiry and consultation with a UFT representative filed a formal written request to withdraw his resignation. After the DOE insisted that he still did not have tenure because he never filed a timely request to withdraw his resignation, he brought a proceeding in Court.

The matter was appealed to the Court of Appeals, our highest state court and his appeal was dismissed.

The Court of Appeals held that a tenured teacher who resigns , and later seeks to return as a tenured teacher, must strictly comply with the regulation and submit a written request to withdraw his or her prior resignation.

2016 NY Slip Op 02553. IN THE MATTER OF GRANT SPRINGER, Appellant, v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, ET AL.,               Respondents.  No. 41. Court of Appeals of New York. Decided April 5, 2016.