Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education, in case of In Re: Paul J. Walsh v. Sto-Rox School District, No. 13-85.
Lynne L. Wilson, for petitioner, Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Scott G. Dunlop, with him, Larry P. Gaitens, Gaitens & Tucceri, P.C. for respondent.
Judges MacPhail, Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 422]
Paul J. Walsh, petitioner, appeals from an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) quashing his appeal of a decision by the Sto-Rox School District (School District), respondent, to transfer him to the position of Assistant High School Principal from his previous position of Principal of grades eight and nine.
Petitioner was employed at his previous position for approximately nine years. He was informed of the change of responsibilities by letter from the School Superintendent dated October 16, 1985. On November 13, 1985, he filed an appeal with the Secretary pursuant to Section 1151 of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1151, on the grounds that the Sto-Rox School Board (Board) failed to solicit petitioner's consent to the transfer or notify him of his right to a hearing. He contends that the transfer constituted a demotion and requested reinstatement to his former position. In the alternative, he requested a remand to the school board for a hearing on the issue of whether the School District's actions constituted a demotion. The Secretary quashed the appeal on the basis that petitioner had never requested a hearing before the Board.
Although the ultimate issue on appeal is whether a demotion occurred, the preliminary issue is whether petitioner was required to request a hearing before the Board initially rather than take an appeal directly to the Secretary. Whether petitioner actually requested a hearing before the Board also is the subject of conflict.
Section 1151 of the School Code reads:
The salary of any district superintendent, assistant district superintendent or other professional
[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 423]
employe in any school district may be increased at any time during the term for which such person is employed, whenever the board of school directors of the district deems it necessary or advisable to do so, but there shall be no demotion of any professional employe either in salary or in type of position, except as otherwise provided in this act, without the consent of the employe, or, if such consent is not received, then such demotion shall be subject to the right to a hearing before the board of ...