Abolition of Position / Reduction-in-Force Commissioner upheld RIF student assistance coordinator position where board replaced SAC position with combined SAC position with school counselor position. While SAC was certified as a social worker, he was not certified as a school counselor. Board demonstrated a valid educational purpose for the RIF in that students in need of both assistance and counseling would no longer need to consult with two different staff members. Lucky v. Englewood 3/27/2019.
Admission-Residency Commissioner determined that parents were not entitled to enroll student at vocational school in a county where the student was not a resident. A student’s right to attend a county vocational school is subject to admissions standards and available space, and only guarantees equal opportunity for enrollment, not enrollment for all; even if admitted to a county vocational school, a right to tuition-free attendance is not absolute. T.W. v. Freehold 3/27/2019.
Anti-Bullying Act/HIB Commissioner determined that seven year old student committed HIB under the anti-bullying act where after continuing to question peer about gender identity after being counseled by administrators to stop such questioning. Student also threatened victim regarding the reporting of her continued questioning to administration. Initial decision reversed. L.K. v. Mansfield 4/22/2019.
Charter School Commissioner upheld charter school residency determination where parents traveled to India and informed the charter school that the students were being temporarily home-schooled there. Parents failed to prove domicile in New Jersey. Commissioner determined that charter school was not entitled to tuition reimbursement from parents, to period of ineligible student attendance, only the district of residence was entitled to such tuition. S.H.P. v. Elysian Charter 4/5/2019.
Domicile/Residency Commissioner upheld board’s residency determination where parents who were renovating properties left the district for approximately 134 months but failed to disenroll the students. S.H. v. Alloway 3/26/2019.
Records-Student Commissioner dismissed parent allegations of a violation of the Pupil Records Act for the inadvertent disclosure of student records. The NJPRA does not provide a private right of action against a school district or the Office of Special Education. L.R. v. NJ DoE 4/22/2019.
Sex-Assault Commissioner modified initial decision and dismissed the petition finding that he lacked jurisdiction over matter in which female employee alleged sexual harassment against male co-worker. Matter did not arise out of the school laws because Commissioner has jurisdiction over claims of sexual discrimination in employment matters but not sexual harassment. Petitioning teacher retained a cause of action before the NJ Division On Civil Rights and the EEOC. Sterling Ed. Assn. v. Sterling Bd. of Educ. 3/14/2019.
Tenure-Aquisition Commissioner ordered termination of custodian for engaging in physical altercation despite custodian’s claim of tenure protection pursuant to collective negotiations agreement that granted “permanent status ” upon fourth year of employment. Despite language of the agreement, custodian was issued a new contract each year for employment. Kesim v. New Providence Bd. of Educ 3/15/2019.
Matter settled amicably & dismissed by court. Dickens v. Irvington Bd. of Educ. 3/28/2019.
Matter remanded for hearing. IMO Certificate of Tabanli 4/9/2019.
Residency appeal dismissed upon presentation of proper proofs. J.J. v. Manchester Regional 3/6/2019.
Commissioner determined that where applicant for certificate of eligibility did not submit evidence of eligibility prior to implementation of new regulatory requirements, she was required to pass the mandated basic skills test. Kehoe v. Examiners 3/18/2019.