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December 18, 2023

Terminating a probationary teacher prior to the end of the educator's probationary period

Supreme Court denied a CPLR Article 78 petition submitted by a former teacher [Plaintiff] seeking a court order annulling The Department of Education of the City of New York and The Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York's [collectively DOE] decision to terminate Plaintiff's probationary employment, and dismissed the proceeding. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the Supreme Court's ruling, without costs.*

The Appellate Division opined that Supreme Court had properly denied Plaintiff's petition, "as DOE's decision to terminate [Plaintiff's] probationary employment was not arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion or contrary to law. Citing Matter of DeVito v Department of Educ. of the City of N.Y., 112 AD3d 421, the court explained "DOE was entitled to discontinue [Plaintiff's] service as a probationary teacher 'at any time and for any reason' unless the decision was "for a constitutionally impermissible purpose, violative of a statute, or done in bad faith."**

Noting there was documentary evidence of Plaintiff's unsatisfactory performance while a probationary teacher, the Appellate Division viewed this evidence to have "sufficiently rebutted any allegations of bad faith" and the fact that Plaintiff "received two effective ratings ... underscore that the administrators at his school treated him fairly."

Addressing Plaintiff's "motion to renew," the Appellate Division held that Supreme Court properly denied the motion "as [Plaintiff's] affidavit failed to present any new evidence that could not have been presented in his petition or that would have rendered a different result".

* Plaintiff's subsequent efforts to renew his petition were likewise unsuccessful. 

** See, also, York v McGuire, 63 NY2d 760.

Click HERE to access the Appellate Division's decision posted on the Internet.

 

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New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com