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HENRY ISBAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/01/78)

decided: March 1, 1978.

HENRY ISBAN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND JOHN C. PITTENGER, RESPONDENTS; BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF TUSCARORA INTERMEDIATE UNIT NO. 11, PARTY RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Henry Isban v. Board of School Directors of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit No. 11, No. 245 of 1974.

COUNSEL

Michael S. Ramage, with him William A. Hebe, and Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for petitioner.

John R. Miller, Jr., with him Miller, Kistler & Campbell, for respondent.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.

Author: Disalle

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 89]

This case comes before us upon a petition for review of an order of the Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Secretary) dated November 15, 1976. The order dismisses Henry Isban's appeal of a decision of the Board of School Directors of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit No. 11 (Board). We will affirm.

Isban was hired as a speech therapist by the Fulton County Board of School Directors on January 19, 1965. In 1971, the Fulton County Board was absorbed into the newly created Board of School Directors for the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit No. 11. Thereafter, Isban worked as a speech therapist for the Intermediate Unit. His services were utilized by the Forbes Road School District, the Southern Fulton School District, and the Central Fulton School District.

On May 25, 1973, the superintendent of the Central Fulton School District notified Intermediate Unit No. 11, by letter, that because of various difficulties experienced with Isban over the past two years, the school district preferred to be without speech therapy services rather than have such a program administered by him. Similarly worded letters were subsequently sent to the Intermediate Unit by the superintendents of the Southern Fulton School District and the Forbes Road School District.

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 90]

On June 1, 1973, Isban met with Mr. Donald Miller, Director of Special Education for the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit. At this meeting, Miller informed Isban of the letters which had been received from the three district superintendents. Miller also indicated to Isban that it would be difficult to find another position for him within the Intermediate Unit. He then suggested that Isban should perhaps consider resigning. The meeting concluded, however, without Isban making any commitment as to his future course of action.

On June 14, 1973, at a meeting of the Intermediate Unit's Board, the special education program for Unit No. 11 was revised. This revision relieved Isban of his duties as speech therapist for Fulton County and assigned him to a language development program for the mentally retarded trainable children in the Lewistown and Mount Union areas. Isban received a letter notifying him of these changes on June 15, 1973. His only response to the reorganization was that he had never been informed by the Intermediate Unit of the reasons for his reassignment.

Dr. Clay Burkholder, Executive Director of Intermediate Unit No. 11, replied to Isban by letter on June 25, 1973. He indicated that the specific reasons for his reassignment had been given to Isban in his previous meeting with Mr. Miller on June 1, 1973. Dr. Burkholder then asked Isban to inform the Intermediate Unit whether he chose to accept the new assignment or resign.

On July 2, 1973, the Board of School Directors of the Forbes Road School District passed a resolution adopting the language of the letter sent by the District's superintendent indicating the District's desire to be without a speech therapy program if Isban was to continue to provide such ...


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