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DIANA M. SCOTCHLAS v. BOARD SCHOOL DIRECTORS HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT (08/13/85)

decided: August 13, 1985.

DIANA M. SCOTCHLAS, PETITIONER
v.
BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Office of the Secretary of Education in the case of Diana M. Scotchlas v. Board of School Directors of the Haverford Township School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal No. 18-83.

COUNSEL

Thomas P. Hamilton, Jr., with him, Leonard V. Tenaglia, Richard, DiSanti, Hamilton, Gallagher and Paul, for petitioner.

No appearance for respondent.

Howard R. Cohen, for intervening respondent, Haverford Township School District.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 102]

Diana M. Scotchlas (Petitioner) appeals here from an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) which dismissed her appeal from a denial of a hearing by the Board of School Directors of the Haverford Township School District (Board).

The record shows that in March, 1983, the Board notified Petitioner that a hearing was scheduled to determine whether she should be dismissed from her position as a professional employee.*fn1 Petitioner notified the Board that she waived her right to a hearing before the Board and that she would grieve the matter pursuant to the 1982-84 collective bargaining agreement in effect between the Haverford Township School District (School District) and the Haverford Township

[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 103]

Education Association (Association). The Board held a hearing on April 5, 1983, after which it voted to dismiss Petitioner. Petitioner did not attend the hearing and filed a grievance on April 8, 1983.

On July 1, 1983, after the grievance was assigned to arbitration, our Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers v. Neshaminy School District, 501 Pa. 534, 462 A.2d 629 (1983). Arguably, Neshaminy supported the proposition that the provisions of Sections 1121-1132 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code)*fn2 were the sole means by which a professional employee could protest a dismissal by a school district. As a result of the Neshaminy decision, Petitioner on July 27, 1983, sought a hearing before the Board in which she would participate. The Board, which had refused to participate in the grievance procedure, denied Petitioner's request on the ground that a hearing had already been held which conformed to the provisions of the Code. Petitioner appealed this denial to the Secretary who dismissed the appeal because it was filed more than thirty days after the Board's order dismissing Petitioner.

Shortly before the Secretary entered his order, Section 1133 of the Code*fn3 was enacted by the Act of June 22, 1984 (Act). Section 1133 of the Code provides that

Nothing contained in sections 1121 through 1132 [of the Code] shall be construed to supersede or preempt a provision of a collective bargaining ...


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