Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Myron L. Fasnacht v. Eastern York School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal, No. 18-79.
Michael I. Levin, Cleckner and Fearen, for petitioner.
Thomas W. Scott, Killian & Gephart, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 572]
Eastern York School District appeals an order of the Secretary of Education which reversed a decision of the Board of School Directors dismissing Myron Fasnacht, tenured professional employee.
The Superintendent of Schools had suspended Fasnacht, without pay, from his teaching position on January 4, 1979. By letter of January 12, 1979, the
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 573]
school board informed Fasnacht that he was charged with persistent negligence and incompetence;*fn1 after notice, the board held hearings at which Fasnacht was present and represented by counsel.
Under the negligence charge, the chief specification against Fasnacht was that of sleeping while he was supposed to be presiding over his class. The remaining specifications included (1) failure to comply with lesson plan policy, (2) inadequate preparation of individual evaluation plans (IEPs) for the mentally retarded students whom he taught, and (3) teaching subjects inconsistent with the IEPs which he had prepared.
The board's decision stated specific findings and dismissed Fasnacht on the ground of persistent negligence, based primarily upon the charge of sleeping in class. The board also found that Fasnacht had failed to submit lesson plans and had taught subjects inconsistent with his IEPs, but the board did not find any failures in the preparation, adequacy or pursuance of lesson plans, nor any inadequacy in the preparation of IEPs. The board viewed the incompetence charge as not proved.
On appeal, the Secretary of Education, without receiving any additional evidence, reviewed the record and, on the basis of newly stated findings of his own, reversed the board's dismissal action.
Although the board classed all of the specifications as relating to the negligence charge, and the Secretary (while agreeing that failure to submit plans would be negligence) viewed inadequacies of preparation and presentation as relating to competence, ...