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WILKES-BARRE AREA VOCATIONAL SCHOOL AND WILKES-BARRE AREA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL JOINT OPERATING COMMITTEE v. GREATER NANTICOKE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT (03/30/88)

decided: March 30, 1988.

WILKES-BARRE AREA VOCATIONAL SCHOOL AND WILKES-BARRE AREA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL JOINT OPERATING COMMITTEE, APPELLANTS
v.
GREATER NANTICOKE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, in the case of Greater Nanticoke Area School District v. Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School, and Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School Joint Operating Committee, No. 2607-C of 1986.

COUNSEL

Frank Harrison and Donald H. Brobst, with them, Raymond P. Wendolowski, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellants.

Bernard J. Kotulak, II, with him, Robert T. Panowicz, for appellee.

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

Author: Palladino

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 74]

Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School (Vo-Tech School) and Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School Joint Operating Committee (JOC) (collectively Appellants) appeal from a decision of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas that pursuant to section 1850.1(c) of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code)*fn1 the Vo-Tech School's operating budget must be approved by at least four of the five school districts participating in the operation of the Vo-Tech School. We affirm.

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 75]

Five school districts (Crestwood, Greater Nanticoke Area, Hanover, Pittston and Wilkes-Barre Area) jointly operate the Vo-Tech School.*fn2 The school boards of the participating school districts are considered the "area vocational-technical board" and are charged with operating the Vo-Tech School. Sections 1850.1(a) and (b) of the School Code, 24 P.S. §§ 1850.1(a) and (b). Pursuant to section 1850.1(d) of the School Code, 24 P.S. § 18.1850.1(d), the school districts delegated the operation, administration and management of the Vo-Tech School to the JOC. The JOC must conduct the operation of the Vo-Tech School "within the limits of the budget adopted by the area vocational board." Section 1850.2 of the School Code, 24 P.S. § 18-1850.2. Section 1850.1(c) of the School Code, 24 P.S. § 18-1850.1(c), provides that:

[T]he approval of each operating budget shall require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the participating school districts and a majority vote of all school directors of all participating districts; and provided further, for the purposes of this requirement only, the vote of any participating school district shall be determined by a majority vote of all school directors comprising such participating boards. All votes shall be duly recorded and show how each member voted.

In April 1986, the JOC submitted a proposed 1986-1987 operating budget to the school districts. The vote of each district was:

Crestwood School District

5 yes, 3 no, 1 absent

Hanover School District

1 yes, 7 no, 1 ...


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