544 N.E.2d 651 (Ohio 1989), 88-1243, Rossford Exempted Village School Dist. v. State Bd. of Educ.

Docket Nº:88-1243.
Citation:544 N.E.2d 651, 45 Ohio St.3d 356
Opinion Judge:MOYER, C.J.
Party Name:ROSSFORD EXEMPTED VILLAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee, v. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, Appellant, et al.
Attorney:Kolb, Kolb & Kolb and Matt Kolb, Toledo, for appellee., Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Atty. Gen., and Lauren M. Ross, Columbus, for appellant., Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., L.P.A., Robert T. Baker and Kimball H. Carey, Columbus, urging affirmance for amicus curiae, Ohio School Boards As...
Judge Panel:SWEENEY, HOLMES, WRIGHT and HERBERT R. BROWN, JJ., concur. DOUGLAS and RESNICK, JJ., dissent.
Case Date:September 27, 1989
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 651

544 N.E.2d 651 (Ohio 1989)

45 Ohio St.3d 356

ROSSFORD EXEMPTED VILLAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee,

v.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, Appellant, et al.

No. 88-1243.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

September 27, 1989

Page 652

Submitted May 10, 1989.

Syllabus by the Court

An appeal may be taken to the court of common pleas pursuant to R.C. 119.12 from an order of the State Board of Education resulting from a hearing or adjudication pursuant to a request for transfer of territory pursuant to R.C. 3311.24.

In February 1986, the three owners of a parcel of property situated within the Rossford Exempted Village School District, 1 Wood County ("Rossford"), and bordering, in part, on the Perrysburg Exempted Village School District, Wood County ("Perrysburg"), requested that their property [45 Ohio St.3d 357] be transferred from the Rossford to the Perrysburg School District pursuant to R.C. 3311.24. The Rossford Board of Education adopted a resolution rejecting the requested transfer and transmitted both the request for transfer and the board's resolution of disapproval to the State Department of Education. The Rossford board recommended that the transfer be disapproved.

The Secretary of the State Board of Education notified both school districts that in accordance with the provisions of R.C. 119.07, the state board intended to consider the transfer and that pursuant to R.C. Chapter 119 the parties were entitled to a hearing. Pursuant to that notice, Rossford requested a hearing.

The matter was heard by a referee, who, following a hearing, recommended that the State Board of Education approve the request for transfer. Rossford filed objections to the referee's recommendation. However, at a September 8, 1986 meeting, the State Board of Education overruled the objections and approved the transfer of territory. Rossford appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, naming the State Board of Education and the property owners as defendants.

The property owners filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that an order of the State Board of Education approving a transfer of property pursuant to R.C. 3311.24 is a legislative act which is not appealable pursuant to R.C. 119.12. The State Board of Education also filed a motion to dismiss, alleging "lack of subject matter jurisdiction and/or for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." The trial court agreed that the State Board of Education's decision was a legislative act and dismissed the appeal.

The Tenth District Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the cause to the trial court, holding that a village board of education has a right, pursuant to R.C. 119.12, to appeal the state board's decision in an R.C. 3311.24 proceeding.

This cause is now before the court pursuant to the allowance of a motion to certify the record.

Kolb, Kolb & Kolb and Matt Kolb, Toledo, for appellee.

Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Atty. Gen., and Lauren M. Ross, Columbus, for appellant.

Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., L.P.A., Robert T. Baker and Kimball H. Carey, Columbus, urging affirmance for amicus curiae, Ohio School Boards Ass'n.

Page 653

MOYER, Chief Justice.

The issue in this case is whether an order issued by the State Board of Education approving the transfer of certain school district territory pursuant to R.C. 3311.24 may be appealed to the court of common pleas pursuant to R.C. 119.12. For the reasons that follow, we hold that such an order may be appealed.

Sections 3 and 4, Article VI of the Ohio Constitution give the General Assembly authority to create a public school system, boards of education, and the State Board of Education. See State, ex rel. Core, v. Green (1953), 160 Ohio St. 175, 51 O.O. 442, 115 N.E.2d 157. Pursuant to this authority, the General Assembly enacted R.C. Chapter 3301, establishing the Department of Education and defining the department's [45 Ohio St.3d 358] scope of duties and guidelines for managing the public education system in Ohio.

Unlike some other state agencies, 2 pursuant to R.C. 3301.13, the Department of Education is expressly included among the agencies that must comply with R.C. Chapter 119. This section provides in relevant part that "[t]he department of education shall be subject to all provisions of law pertaining to departments, offices, or institutions established for the exercise of any function of the state government * * *. In the exercise of any of its functions or powers, including the power to make rules and regulations and to prescribe minimum standards[,] the department of education, and any officer or agency therein, shall be subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. * * * " This language is consistent with the definition of "agency" found in R.C. 119.01(A): " 'Agency' means * * * the functions of any administrative or executive officer, department, division, bureau, board, or commission of the government of the state specifically made subject to sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code * * *."

Among the powers delegated by the General Assembly to the state board is the authority to issue an order approving or disapproving the transfer of territory from one school district to another school district. In determining the appealability of an order approving a transfer of territory pursuant to R.C. 3311.24, we will review the mechanism involved in such approvals, as well as the method used to transfer territory pursuant to R.C. 3311.06.

At the heart of this question is the distinction between the reviewability of proceedings that are quasi-judicial in nature as opposed to agency action which is quasi-legislative in nature. In M.J. Kelley Co. v. Cleveland (1972), 32...

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