Posts tagged "school"

Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee v. Groton-Dunstable Educators Association (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-075-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-701                                        Appeals Court   GROTON-DUNSTABLE REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE  vs.  GROTON-DUNSTABLE EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION. No. 14-P-701. Middlesex.     March 9, 2015. – July 20, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Wolohojian, & Carhart, JJ. School and School Committee, Professional teacher status, Termination of employment.  Education Reform Act.  Arbitration, Collective bargaining, School committee.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining, Termination.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 4, 2013.   The case was heard by Robert L. Ullmann, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Laurie R. Houle for the defendant. Howard L. Greenspan for the plaintiff.     WOLOHOJIAN, J.  At issue is whether the defendant union is entitled on behalf of a terminated teacher to pursue arbitration under the provisions of its collective bargaining agreement, or whether it is instead required to pursue arbitration under G. L. c. 71, § 42, amended by St. 1993, c. 71, § 44.  Because we conclude that G. L. c. 71, § 42, provides the exclusive route to arbitrate the termination of a teacher with professional teacher status (previously known as tenure), we affirm the judgment resulting from the allowance of the plaintiff school committee’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The school committee and the union entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that covered the period September 1, 2011, through August 31, 2014.  One article of the CBA governed the arbitration of grievances, and set out detailed procedures for such arbitration.  Another article of the CBA provided that teachers would not “be disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantages or salary increase without just cause.” Melissa Pooler, a teacher with professional teacher status,[1] was terminated by the school committee on July 16, 2013.  After the union’s grievance on behalf of Pooler was denied,[2] the union claimed arbitration under the CBA.  The school committee responded by suing to stay arbitration pursuant to G. L. c. 150C, § 2.  The school committee’s motion for a preliminary injunction was allowed, as was its subsequent motion for judgment on the pleadings.  The latter is the subject of this appeal.[3] Section 42 of G. L. c. 71 provides, as pertinent here, that teachers with professional teacher status (such as Pooler) may seek to have an arbitrator review their termination in accordance with the procedures specified in the statute.  Section 42 also provides that such a teacher “shall not be dismissed […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm

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Superintendent-Director of Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District v. Speicher (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-159-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11563   SUPERINTENDENT-DIRECTOR OF ASSABET VALLEY REGIONAL VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT  vs.  ANN MARIE SPEICHER. Suffolk.     May 5, 2014. – September 11, 2014.   Present:  Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Arbitration, Authority of arbitrator, Judicial review, Award, School committee.  Education Reform Act.  Statute, Construction.  School and School Committee, Arbitration, Suspension from employment.  Public Employment, Suspension.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 18, 2011.   The case was heard by Paul E. Troy, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Tim D. Norris for the plaintiff. Sheilah F. McCarthy for the defendant. Will Evans & Quesiyah S. Ali, for Massachusetts Teachers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     SPINA, J.  In this case we are asked to decide whether an arbitrator exceeded his authority by reviewing the merits of a twenty-day suspension of a school librarian having professional teacher status.  The librarian had been suspended for “conduct unbecoming” the librarian, pursuant to G. L. c. 71, § 42D.  The arbitrator applied a just cause standard of review and overturned the suspension on the ground that the school district failed to meet its burden of proof.  The school district filed an action to vacate the arbitrator’s award under G. L. c. 150C, § 11, and for declaratory relief under G. L. c. 231A.  A judge in the Superior Court denied the school district’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, and allowed the librarian’s cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings, thereby confirming the arbitrator’s award.  The school district appealed, and we transferred the case from the Appeals Court on our own motion.  We hold that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority by reviewing the merits of the suspension.  We further hold that the proper standard of review is whether the district sustained its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the particular reason cited for the suspension.  We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.[1] 1.  Background.  The librarian, Ann Marie Speicher, had been employed as a school librarian for at least three consecutive school years by the Assabet Valley Regional School District (district) as of October 29, 2009.  As such, she was considered a “teacher” under G. L. c. 71, § 41, and entitled to professional teacher status under […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 11, 2014 at 8:16 pm

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The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. v. City of Quincy, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-129-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11390   THE WOODWARD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, INC.  vs.  CITY OF QUINCY, trustee,[1] & another.[2]       Norfolk.     December 2, 2013. – July 23, 2014. Present:  Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Trust, Charitable trust, Investments, Trustee’s accounts.  Damages, Breach of fiduciary duty, Interest.  Interest.  Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.  Governmental Immunity.  Immunity from Suit.  Municipal Corporations, Trusts, Governmental immunity.  Waiver.  Laches.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on July 11, 2007.   After transfer to the Norfolk County Division of the Probate and Family Court Department, the case was heard by Robert W. Langlois, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     John S. Leonard (James S. Timmins, City Solicitor, with him) for city of Quincy. Sarah G. Kim (Josephine M. Deang Chin & Alison K. Eggers with her) for the plaintiff.     CORDY, J.  This dispute arises from a trust established in 1822 by former President John Adams and supplemented by a bequest of his grandson in 1886.  The city[3] of Quincy (Quincy) served as trustee of the Adams Temple and School Fund and the Charles Francis Adams Fund (collectively, Funds) through two boards.[4]  The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. (Woodward), the income beneficiary of the Funds since 1953, filed suit against Quincy initially seeking an accounting and thereafter asserting that Quincy committed a breach of its fiduciary duties to keep adequate records, invest the trust’s assets properly, exercise reasonable prudence in the sales of real estate, and incur only reasonable expenses related to the management of the Funds.  We transferred the case here on our own motion following Quincy’s appeal and Woodward’s cross appeal from a Probate and Family Court judge’s ruling removing Quincy as trustee and ordering it to pay a nearly $ 3 million judgment.[5] On appeal, Quincy asserts that the trial judge erred in finding that Quincy committed a breach of its fiduciary duties to the Funds by failing to invest in growth equities to protect the principal when the Funds have only an income beneficiary to provide for, and by not heeding specific investment advice it received in 1973.  In addition, Quincy challenges the award of damages, alleging that it was based on an improperly introduced and unsound […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm

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School Committee of Lexington v. Zagaeski (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-125-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11536   SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF LEXINGTON  vs.  MARK ZAGAESKI. Middlesex.      March 4, 2014. – July 14, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Arbitration, Judicial review, Authority of arbitrator, Award, School committee.  Education Reform Act.  Statute, Construction. School and School Committee, Arbitration, Termination of employment.  Public Employment, Termination.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 27, 2012.   Motions to vacate and to affirm an arbitration award were heard by Bruce R. Henry, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Geoffrey R. Bok (Colby C. Brunt with him) for the plaintiff. Daniel S. O’Connor (Laura Elkayam with him) for the defendant. Stephen J. Finnegan & Michael J. Long, for Massachusetts Association of School Commitees, Inc. & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.   Ira Fader for Massachusetts Teachers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.          SPINA, J.  In this case, the plaintiff, the school committee of Lexington (school committee), appealed a decision by a Superior Court judge confirming an arbitrator’s award reinstating a teacher, Mark Zagaeski, after the school district superintendent had terminated his employment for conduct unbecoming a teacher.  We granted the plaintiff’s application for direct appellate review.  This case presents an issue left unresolved by this court in School Dist. of Beverly v. Geller, 435 Mass. 223 (2001).  We must determine the scope of authority granted to an arbitrator by G. L. c. 71, § 42 (teacher dismissal statute), to reinstate a teacher who was dismissed for conduct that the arbitrator found constituted, at least nominally, a valid basis for dismissal.[1] We conclude that in light of the stated purposes of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 (Reform Act or Act), of which the teacher dismissal statute is a part, the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his authority by awarding reinstatement of Zagaeski on the basis of the “best interests of the pupils” in the district, despite having found that the school district carried its burden to show facts amounting to conduct unbecoming a teacher.  See G. L. c. 69, § 1, as appearing in St. 1993, c. 71, § 27; G. L. c. 71, § 42.  We reverse the decision of the Superior Court judge and vacate the arbitration award.[2] 1.  Background.  a.  Facts.[3]  Zagaeski’s dismissal from his position at the Lexington public schools […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

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Doe, et al. v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-078-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11317   JANE DOE[1] & others[2]  vs.  ACTON-BOXBOROUGH REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT & others.[3]     Middlesex.     September 4, 2013.  ‑  May 9, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Constitutional Law, Equal protection of laws, Equal Rights Amendment, Education.  School and School Committee, Regional school district.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 10, 2010.     The case was heard by S. Jane Haggerty, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Eric C. Rassbach, of the District of Columbia (Diana M. Verm, of the District of Columbia, & J. Patrick Kennedy with him) for the interveners. Geoffrey R. Bok for the defendants. David A. Niose for the plaintiffs. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Andrew P. Blake, David S. Petron, Judith C. Gallagher, & Christopher R. Mills, of the District of Columbia, for Steven Palazzo & others. David A. Cortman, of Georgia, Jeremy D. Tedesco, of Arizona,  & Andrew D. Beckwith for Alliance Defending Freedom & another. Jay Alan Sekulow, Stuart J. Roth, & Colby M. May, of the District of Columbia, Erik M. Zimmerman, of Virginia, & Carly F. Gammill, of Tennessee, for American Center for Law and Justice. Ronald A. Lindsay & Karla Grossenbacher, of the District of Columbia, for Center for Inquiry. Thomas R. McCarthy & Brendan J. Morrissey, of the District of Columbia, Kelly J. Shackelford & Hiram S. Sasser, III, of Texas, & Gregory D. Cote for The American Legion & another. Martha Coakley, Attorney General, & Amy Spector, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth.   IRELAND, C.J.  This case presents two questions of State constitutional and statutory law:  first, whether the daily recitation of our Nation’s pledge of allegiance (pledge) in the defendants’ schools violates the plaintiffs’ equal protection rights under the Massachusetts Constitution, because the pledge includes the words “under God”; and second, whether the recitation of the pledge violates G. L. c. 76, § 5, which prohibits discrimination in Massachusetts public school education.  We hold that the recitation of the pledge, which is entirely voluntary, violates neither the Constitution nor the statute.     1.  Procedural background.  The plaintiffs, Jane Doe and John Doe, commenced this action in the Superior Court challenging the practice by which the pledge is […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 9, 2014 at 6:31 pm

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School Committee of Marshfield v. Marshfield Education Association (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-007-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     12‑P‑1737                                       Appeals Court   SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF MARSHFIELD  vs.  MARSHFIELD EDUCATION ASSOCIATION. No. 12‑P‑1737. Plymouth.     October 8, 2013.  ‑  January 28, 2014. Present:  Kafker, Vuono, & Carhart, JJ.   Contract, School teacher, Collective bargaining contract, Arbitration.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining, Termination.  School and School Committee, Collective bargaining, Termination of employment, Arbitration, Waiver.  Labor, Public employment, Collective bargaining, Arbitration.  Arbitration, School committee, Collective bargaining, Authority of arbitrator, Award.  Waiver.  License.  Public Policy.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 14, 2010.   The case was heard by Robert C. Cosgrove, J., on motions for summary judgment.     James A. Toomey (Tami L. Fay with him) for the plaintiff. John M. Becker for the defendant. Stephen J. Finnegan, for Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc., amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Michael J. Long, for Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.       KAFKER, J.  Review of the arbitration award here requires us to examine the teacher licensing and termination provisions in the Education Reform Act of 1994, St. 1993, c. 71, as well as various provisions in a collective bargaining agreement, and explain their interrelationship.  Gerard O’Sullivan was employed as a teacher by the Marshfield public school district (district) for almost eight years.  O’Sullivan was terminated in 2008 when the school committee of Marshfield (school committee) took the position that his employment automatically ended by operation of law when his teaching license was not renewed by the Commissioner of Education (commissioner) and the commissioner denied the district superintendent’s request for a waiver of the license requirement.  The school committee took no steps to terminate O’Sullivan in accordance with the terms of his teaching contract and the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the school committee and the Marshfield Education Association (association), to which O’Sullivan belonged.  Nor did the school committee follow the teacher termination process set out in G. L. c. 71, § 42.  Rather, the school committee asserted that without a license or waiver, O’Sullivan ceased to be employed as a matter of law, and as a result, was not entitled to any rights afforded a professional teacher under § 42, or under the CBA, including the one-year unpaid leave of absence O’Sullivan had requested so that he could fulfil the requirements necessary for licensure.  Thereafter the association, “pursuant to the parties’ collective bargaining agreement,” […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm

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5 Laugh-Out-Loud Blogs to Start the School Year

You've bought the supplies (or not), you've got the new clothes (some of them), and like it or not, the first day of school is upon you. Here, some inspiration to get you ready for the year ahead. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 17, 2013 at 3:57 am

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Mike Ross: Lengthen School Day, Deputize Meter Maids

The city councilor from downtown Boston talks about climate change affecting Boston, and how he's staying in shape through the campaign. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 7, 2013 at 1:05 am

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When’s The First Day of School for Boston Public Schools?

Find out when the kids go back, and other important dates for the upcoming school year. South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

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When’s The First Day of School for Boston Public Schools?

Bookmark this page for use and reference throughout the school year. Click here for a full calendar view of the Boston Public Schools calendar for the 2013-14 South End Patch News

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,

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