Probation and layoff

Probation and layoff rights of an educator being employed by a school district following a take-back BOCES program Decisions of the Commissioner of Education 13964 As a result of a "take-back" of programs by component school districts of Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES, Ellen Chernoff was excessed. Chernoff subsequently accepted a full-time position with the Wynantskill Central School District in Rensselaer County. Later Chernoff resigned from Wynantskill after she was offered full-time employment by the BOCES, also called Questar III. However, she objected to the statement in her letter of appointment indicating that she would be required to serve a two-year probationary period. Questar III countered by stating that Chernoff had "freely and knowingly" became a full-time Wynantskill employee and thus extinguished her preferred list rights with it. Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills agreed and dismissed Chernoff's appeal. Another issue in the appeal involved a BOCES form in which excessed employees, including Chernoff, stated they had been advised that by taking a job with a component school district of the BOCES, they had forfeited their place on a preferred list to be re-hired by BOCES. The form included a statement of resignation: "I have been advised of my rights under Section 3014-b [of the Education Law] and have accepted a full-time position [with the Wynantskill Central School District] in the Tenure area of General Special Education. As a result, I hereby resign as an employee of Questar III effective June 30, 1997. " The Commissioner found no significance in Chernoff's execution of this form to the issues under appeal. However, he commented that BOCES lacked authority to require such a document be signed when a teacher is excessed pursuant to Section 3014-b. He recommended that Questar III discontinue the practice. NYPPL

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