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DAVID B. SMITH v. RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT (06/19/78)

decided: June 19, 1978.

DAVID B. SMITH, APPELLANT
v.
RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in case of David B. Smith v. Richland School District, No. 3907 of 1975.

COUNSEL

William K. Eckel, for appellant.

Samuel F. Rizzo, with him Kraft and Rizzo, for appellee.

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

Author: Disalle

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 151]

David B. Smith (Appellant) appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, dated May 23, 1977, denying and dismissing his appeal from the adjudication of the Richland School District (School District) which suspended Appellant pursuant to Sections 1124 and 1125 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. §§ 11-1124 and 11-1125.*fn1

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 152]

Appellant, a tenured professional employe of the School District, acknowledges that a decline in course enrollment necessitated the suspension of one Spanish teacher. It is his contention, however, that he was not the one to be suspended since a proper application of Section 1125 would have mandated the suspension of one Barbara Berkebile. Specifically, he challenges the School District's Finding of Fact that there was and presently is a substantial difference in his ratings and the ratings of the next lowest professional employe, Ms. Berkebile.

Section 1125 establishes the procedure for suspending professional employes when a decrease in staff is necessary:

(a) Whenever a board of school directors decreases the size of the staff of professional employes, the suspensions to be made shall be determined by the the [sic] district superintendent on the basis of efficiency rank determined by ratings made in accordance with standards and regulations, determined by rating cards prepared by the Department of Public Instruction, as required by section one thousand one hundred twenty-three of this act. It shall be the duty of boards of school directors to cause to be established a permanent record system, containing ratings for each professional employe employed within the district. . . .

(b) In cases in which suspensions are to be made, professional employes shall be retained on the basis of seniority rights, acquired

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 153]

    within the school district of current employment, where no differences in rating are found. Seniority rights shall also prevail where there is no substantial difference in rating. In cases where there are substantial differences in rating of those under consideration for suspension, seniority shall be given consideration in ...


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