Anderson v. Board of Education of City of Yonkers

Decision Date17 February 1976
Parties, 346 N.E.2d 551 In the Matter of Nedra ANDERSON et al., Appellants, v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY OF YONKERS et al., Respondents.
CourtNew York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals

Eugene M. Kaufman, New York City, for appellants.

Robert E. Sapir and Eugene J. Fox, Yonkers, for respondents.

Robert D. Stone and Lawrence W. Reich, Albany, for Ewald B. Nyquist, Commissioner of Ed. of the State of N.Y., amicus curiae.

PER CURIAM:

We affirm on the opinion of Presiding Justice Frank A. Gulotta at the Appellate Division, adding emphasis to two considerations which he identifies.

It is not disputed that prior to the 1972 amendment of section 3031 of the Education Law for sound reasons of educational policy the grant of tenure to any individual teacher depended on the concurrence of the superintendent of schools (generally representing the points of view of professional educators) and the board of education (representing the points of view of the community and those charged with superintendence and management of the educational affairs of the district). It would be unreasonable to conclude, in the absence of explicit provision, that legislation intended to expand the procedural rights of individual teachers with respect to determination of tenure would have been intended as well to reverse long-standing educational policy with regard to the substance of tenure-granting.

In strengthening the procedures to be followed in reaching tenure decisions, the introduction of a mandatory review (even without power to overturn) by the board of education of all decisions of the superintendent not to grant tenure was an addition of real substance. In the administrative as differentiated from the judicial setting, review by a higher authority of recommendations made to it may be of very real significance, especially where the official making the recommendations is himself subject, in evaluation of his performance of duty, to the ultimate control of the reviewing authority. Not only will the superintendent be called on to justify and defend his decisions before the board; perhaps even more important, as a practical matter, will be the impact of the prospect of such review on the care and attention paid by the superintendent to his initial tenure recommendations. The amendment mandates review by the board in every instance and is not limited to cases in which objection has been raised by the individual teacher affected. Where teacher objection is made, the availability of his or her written response to the statement of reasons for the denial of tenure and notice to him or her of the board's prospective review of the superintendent's decision may be expected to contribute significantly to an effective and thorough consideration both of the particular tenure decision and of the superintendent's implementation of tenure policy in general.

GABRIELLI, Judge (dissenting).

The majority concludes that even though the Legislature by section 3031 of the Education Law (as added by L.1972, ch. 866) granted boards of education power to 'review' determinations of superintendents of schools not to grant tenure to probationary teachers, the statute in fact gives boards the power only to recommend that superintendents reconsider their decisions. We are unable to agree with this conclusion.

Section 3031 of the Education Law provides:

'Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter and except in cities having a population of one million or more, boards of education and boards of cooperative educational services shall review all recommendations not to appoint a person on tenure, and, teachers employed on probation by any school district or by any board of cooperative educational services, as to whom a recommendation is to be made that appointment on tenure not be granted or that their services be discontinued shall, at least thirty days prior to the board meeting at which such recommendation is to be considered, be notified of such intended recommendation and the date of the board meeting at which it is to be considered. Such teacher may, not later than twenty-one days prior to such meeting, request in writing that he be furnished with a written statement giving the reasons for such recommendation and within seven days thereafter such written statement shall be furnished. Such teacher may file a written response to such statement with the district clerk not later than seven days prior to the date of the board meeting.

'This section shall not be construed as modifying existing law with respect to the rights of probationary teachers or the powers and duties of boards of education or boards of cooperative...

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24 cases
  • Levine v. Smithtown Cent. School Dist., Civil Action No. 05-1728.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • July 14, 2008
    ...make a tenure appointment. See Anderson v. Bd. of Educ., 46 A.D.2d 360, 362 N.Y.S.2d 536 (2d Dept.1974), aff'd, 38 N.Y.2d 897, 382 N.Y.S.2d 750, 346 N.E.2d 551 (1976). Probationary teachers are entitled to certain notices if they are being dismissed during their probationary period or if an......
  • Hanig v. Yorktown Cent. School Dist.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • September 2, 2005
    ...Assoc. v. Bd. of Educ., 52 N.Y.2d 1038, 1042, 438 N.Y.S.2d 505, 420 N.E.2d 386 (1981) (citing Matter of Anderson v. Bd. of Educ., 38 N.Y.2d 897, 898, 382 N.Y.S.2d 750, 346 N.E.2d 551 (1976)) (emphasis added). Therefore, "while a board of education could, in the face of a positive recommenda......
  • Atlantic Cement Co., Inc. v. Williams
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • June 11, 1987
    ...472 N.E.2d 286; Matter of Anderson v. Board of Educ. of City of Yonkers, 46 A.D.2d 360, 364-365, 362 N.Y.S.2d 536, affd. 38 N.Y.2d 897, 382 N.Y.S.2d 750, 346 N.E.2d 551). A provision of a statute should not be construed so as to render it ineffective, nor should the statute be interpreted i......
  • Yatauro v. Mangano
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • August 9, 2011
    ...672, quoting Matter of Anderson v. Board of Educ. of City of Yonkers, 46 A.D.2d 360, 364, 362 N.Y.S.2d 536, affd. 38 N.Y.2d 897, 382 N.Y.S.2d 750, 346 N.E.2d 551; see McKinney's Cons. Laws of N.Y., Book 1, Statutes §§ 92, 145). “A general rule of statutory interpretation is to provide a con......
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