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PAULA R. NELSON v. WESTERN BEAVER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT (05/03/85)

decided: May 3, 1985.

PAULA R. NELSON, APPELLANT
v.
WESTERN BEAVER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County in case of Paula R. Nelson v. Western Beaver County School District, No. 1187 of 1981.

COUNSEL

Daniel R. Delaney, Delaney and Evans, for appellant.

Alfred L. Steff, Jr., for appellee.

Judges Craig, Barry and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Colins

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 127]

Appellant, Paula Nelson, appeals that part of the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County which limits her sabbatical salary to one-half of her part-time salary.

Ms. Nelson had timely applied for a sabbatical for the 1981-1982 school year. The Western Beaver County School District (School District), by whom she had been employed full-time for eleven years (at that time), denied her request and furloughed her for the 1981 school year.

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 128]

Ms. Nelson received unemployment compensation, found part-time work, and in the 1982-1983 school year she was recalled to a half-time position.*fn1 In August, 1982, apparently due to the decision of Bristol Page 128} Township School District v. Karafin, 84 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 52, 478 A.2d 539 (1984), declaring that sabbatical leave is mandatory once an employee has met the requirements, the School District awarded the sabbatical leave nunc pro tunc for the period from September 1, 1981 through June, 1982.*fn2 She was offered by the School District the sum she would have received reduced by the unemployment compensation and any other monies earned. She declined both parts of this offer.

Following the commencement of a mandamus action, the trial court, on February 3, 1983, granted appellant a sabbatical leave for the 1983-1984 school year. She was, at that time, employed half-time by the School District. The School District determined that it would compensate her at one-half her current salary (or one-fourth her previous salary), rather than one-half her salary at the time she had originally applied for the sabbatical. The Court below ruled that she should receive one-half her part-time salary during her sabbatical.

Section 1166 of the Public School Code of 1949*fn3 (Code) provides that:

Any person employed in the public school system of this Commonwealth who has completed ten (10) years of satisfactory service as a professional employe or member of the supervisory, instructional or administrative staff, or as a commissioned officer, of any board of school directors, county board of school directors, or ...


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