The Commissioner of Education does not have jurisdiction to remove trustees or employees of public library
Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision #17060
In this appeal the applicant asked the Commissioner of Education to remove "the Library Director and the Board of Trustees" of a public library pursuant to Education Law §306.
The Commissioner said this aspect of the applicant's appeal "must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction," explaining that Education Law §306 authorizes the Commissioner of Education to remove members of a board of education, superintendents and other school officers for willful violations of law or neglect of duty.
However, said the Commissioner, a public library trustee or a Library Director is not a “school officer” as defined in Education Law §2(13) and such personnel are not among the officers listed in §306. Accordingly public library personnel are not subject to removal by the Commissioner pursuant to Education Law §306.
The Commissioner then observed that a trustees of a public library, as the trustees of an education corporation, may be removed for misconduct or neglect of duty by the Board of Regents pursuant to Education Law §226(4). *
As to the Commissioner's authority with respect have jurisdiction over a "school officer," the decision notes that Education Law §2 defines the term school officer as follows: " The term 'school officer' means a clerk, collector, or treasurer of any school district; a trustee; a member of a board of education or other body in control of the schools by whatever name known in a union free school district, central school district, central high school district, or in a city school district; a superintendent of schools; a district superintendent; a supervisor of attendance or attendance officer; or other elective or appointive officer in a school district whose duties generally relate to the administration of affairs connected with the public school system.”
* An employee of a public library may be terminated from his or her position or otherwise disciplined by the trustees of a public library acting in their capacity as the appointing authority consistent with administrative due process.
Decision #17,060 is posted on the Internet at: