As the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education's do not define full-time status for the purpose determining compensation, a collective bargaining agreement may control such a determination
Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 17,062
Susan Ford-Gambee Wilhelm filed a appeal with the Commissioner of Education challenging the action of the Board of Education of the Eden Central School District assigning her to teach five classes following a reduction in her position from a full-time position to a .83 full time equivalent [FTE] position.
Wilhelm contended that she was a full-time teacher within the meaning of §100.2(i) of the Commissioner’s regulations "because she continued to teach five classes each day, which she contended is a 1.0 FTE." She claimed that Eden has improperly treated her position as a .83 FTE and compensated her on that basis, even though she contended that she was a full-time teacher.
The Commissioner said that the essence of Wilhelm's argument appeared to be that §100.2(i) defines a full-time teaching load as five classes and thus that she is entitled to compensation as a full-time teacher based on the classes she was assigned to teach by the school district.
§100.2(i), relating to teaching assignments, provides that, with respect to teaching staff in public schools, the number of daily periods of classroom instruction for a teacher should not exceed five. Further, said the Commissioner, pursuant to the regulation, "a school requiring of any teacher more than six teaching periods a day, or a daily teaching load of more than 150 pupils, should be able to justify the deviation from this policy."
The Commissioner said that a petitioner, here Wilhelm, has the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief requested and the burden of establishing the facts upon which he or she seeks relief.
Wilhelm, however, did not contend that her number of daily periods of classroom instruction exceeds five; admitted that she only taught five classes for the 2016-2017 school year; and did not claim that she was assigned a daily teaching load in excess of 150 students. Rather she argued that §100.2(i) defines a full-time teaching load as five classes and thus she was entitled to compensation as a full-time teacher.
The Commissioner disagreed, explaining that §100.2(i) "merely establishes a policy that teachers should not be assigned more than five classes or a teaching load of 150 pupils and requires that a board of education be able to justify any such assignment, for the purpose of maintaining quality instruction for students." Further, said the Commissioner, the regulation does not define full-time status for purposes of compensation, noting that in Wilhelm's case, was governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
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