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MIDVALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/26/74)

decided: November 26, 1974.

MIDVALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, APPELLEE, AND FRANK W. MARRA, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in case of In Re the Amount of Sick Leave Days accumulated by Frank W. Marra, a professional employe of the Mid-Valley School District, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, No. 238.

COUNSEL

Edward A. Reilly, for appellant.

Edward A. Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Lewis F. Adler, for intervening appellee.

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 315]

This appeal involves an interpretation of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, Section 1154(a), as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1154(a), which, before 1968, provided in part: "In any school

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 316]

    year whenever a professional or temporary professional employe is prevented by illness or accidental injury from following his or her occupation, the school district shall pay to said employe for each day of absence the full salary to which the employe may be entitled as if said employe were actually engaged in the performance of duty for a period of ten days. Such leave shall be cumulative from year to year, but shall not exceed thirty (30) days leave with full pay in any one year." By virtue of a 1968 amendment the second sentence quoted above from Section 1154(a) was deleted and the following was substituted: "Any such unused leave shall be cumulative from year to year in the school district of current employment or its predecessors without limitation. All or any part of such accumulated unused leave may be taken with full pay in any one or more school years." Act of January 19, 1968, P.L. (1967) 983, Section 1, 24 P.S. § 1154(a).

Frank W. Marra (Marra) has been continuously employed as a teacher for the Midvalley School District (School District) since the 1947-48 school year. The dispute at hand involves the sole question of how much sick leave Marra has accumulated through the 1972-73 school year. Both sides agree upon the meaning of the 1968 amendment. Under the law prior to the 1968 amendment, however, Marra argues that an employee could accumulate an unlimited number of sick leave days as long as he did not use more than 30 in any one year. The School District asserts, on the other hand, that, prior to 1968, an employee could never accumulate more than 30 sick leave days at any one time. The parties have stipulated that Marra is entitled to either 130 or 62 sick leave days, depending upon which interpretation of the statute is adopted. After a hearing held by the Secretary of Education (Secretary), an order was issued on December 7, 1973

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

    crediting Marra with 130 days of unused, accumulated sick leave as of the end of the 1972-73 school year. The School District has appealed from that order to this Court.

The Statutory Construction Act of 1972, 1 Pa. S. § 1921(a) provides: "The object of all interpretation and construction of statutes is to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the General Assembly. Every statute shall be construed, if possible, to give effect to all its provisions." We need only follow this, the most ...


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