Appeal from Blair County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Thomas C. Peoples, Jr., Pres. Judge
Randall C. Rodkey, Johnstown, for appellants.
Karen L. Steele and Leopold, Eberhardt, Goldstein, Heslop & Steele, Altoona, for appellee.
Barry and Palladino, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 319]
Altoona Area Vocational-Technical Education Association and Richard E. Stout (Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County (trial court) granting the petition to vacate an arbitration award filed by Altoona Area Vocational-Technical School (Appellee). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
Richard E. Stout was employed by Appellee as a sheet metal instructor and, during the 1984-1985 school year, was certificated only in that subject area. By letter dated May 17, 1985, Stout was notified by Appellee that because of declining enrollments, Appellee planned to discontinue the sheet metal program for the 1985-1986 school year and, as a result, also planned to suspend Stout effective August 31, 1985.*fn1 Stout was subsequently advised that although his benefits would continue until August 31, 1985, his suspension would be effective June 13, 1985, the last day of the 1984-1985 school year. On June 24, 1985, Appellee's Operating Committee voted to suspend Stout effective June 13, 1985.
Stout then requested a hearing pursuant to section 553 of the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 553. A hearing was held on August 26, 1985, at which time Stout informed Appellee that he was in the process of becoming certificated in another area of vocational teaching, but had not yet received official notice of certification. After Stout waived
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 320]
his right to a written adjudication and requested an immediate decision, Appellee upheld Stout's suspension.
At the September 23, 1985 meeting of Appellee's Operating Committee, Stout requested and was granted a sabbatical leave effective August 26, 1985.*fn2 Appellee further waived the requirement that Stout return to his employment at the conclusion of his sabbatical.*fn3
Stout filed a timely appeal from the suspension decision with the trial court at Stout v. Altoona Area Vocational-Technical School (No. 1882 C.P.1985, filed July 18, 1988). In his appeal, Stout contended that pursuant to section 1125.1 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Public School Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, added by section 3 of the Act of November 20, 1979, P.L. 465, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1125.1, Appellee was required to realign its professional staff in light of his seniority and anticipated certification.*fn4 Stout also filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing in order to present additional evidence, namely, the official certification which he received subsequent to the local agency hearing. The trial court declined to take additional evidence and affirmed ...