Can a teacher with an intern certificate earn Jarema credit while employed in a substitute position?

No. Under the Jarema law, so-called due to the law’s co-sponsor, a three year period of probationary service can be shortened to one year when “credit” is given for prior probationary service given as a regular substitute on an annual salary. The law was passed to prevent inequities in the length of probation for teachers who had been teaching in unappointed positions in the same license they sought tenure.

State certification requirements have radically changed since the passage of Jarema.

Jesus Berios first started working for the Yonkers School District under an intern certificate; a credential that entitled him to work under the supervision of a fully certified teacher. An intern certificate is “the certificate issued a student in a registered or approved graduate program of teacher education which includes an internship experience(s) and who has completed at least one-half of the semester hour requirement for the program” (8 NYCRR 80-1.1(b) [24])

After one full year teaching under the intern certificate he was appointed with an initial certificate to a regular teaching position in the same subject area for two full school years when he was dismissed, without a hearing.

Berios brought a proceeding in Westchester Supreme Court arguing that he obtained tenure by estoppel, a court determined grant of tenure after finding that he had completed three years of satisfactory service.

Both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division disagreed. Berios’ service under the intern certificate did not qualify as regular substitute service required under Jarema since he did not have the qualifications to teach without supervision. The Court held, “Allowing a substitute teacher to accumulate tenure credit for time spent teaching pursuant to an intern certificate would mandate that a school board grant or deny tenure to that teacher before he or she obtained a valid teacher’s certificate.”

In the Matter of Jesus Berrios, appellant, v Board of Education of Yonkers City School District, et al., respondents. (Index No. 23910/09), 2010-02768, SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 2011 NY Slip Op 5804; 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5663, July 5, 2011, Decided

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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