Richards v. Board of Education

NEW YORK COUNTY
Schools and Education

New York Law Journal

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Justice Lucy Billings

Teacher Richards sought to reverse respondents', including Board of Education's, termination of her probationary employment. She also sought reversal of her unsatisfactory rating claiming respondents violated procedures prescribed in their own handbooks and in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board and teachers' union. Respondents moved for dismissal arguing reversal of the termination was barred by the statute of limitations. The court agreed noting more than four months elapsed between receipt of respondents' notice terminating her and commencement of the proceeding. Richards also challenged the U-rating she received for the 2009-2010 school year. The court found Richards presented admissible evidence respondents' contractual obligation included providing pre-observation discussions or conferences as part of the evaluation process, yet none were. Thus, as respondents affirmed Richards' U-rating without evidence contradicting that she did not receive the required pre-observation discussion or conference, their decision was "without sound basis in reason", and arbitrary. Hence, the court denied dismissal regarding the U-rating challenge, remanding the proceeding for a new determination on Richards' rating for that year.

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