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.
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.
[ 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