Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

by
The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court’s review centered on whether, pursuant to section 8327(b)(2) of the Public School Employees’ Retirement Code, 24 Pa.C.S.A. 8327(b)(2), the school district that originally approved the creation of a charter school was financially responsible, after the revocation of the charter, for the charter school’s prior failure to make payments to its employees’ retirement fund. The Court surmised the question hinged upon whether unpaid retirement contributions constituted an outstanding obligation of the closed charter school. The Court concluded that the deficiency resulting from the failure to make the payments was indeed an outstanding financial obligation of a closed charter school and therefore, pursuant to section 17-1729-A(i) of the Charter School Law, 24 P.S. section 17-1729-A(i), the school district could not be held liable for the amounts owed. View "Pocono Mtn. Sch. Dist. v. Dept. of Educ." on Justia Law

by
Responding to adverse financial conditions in the Philadelphia School District, the Pennsylvania Legislature amended the School Code in the late 1990s by adding provisions to the Distress Law tailored to school districts of the first class. In this matter, the issue before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was whether legislation designed to help the Philadelphia School District recover from financial hardship violated the non-delegation rule. The Court held that Section 696(i)(3) of the School Code, 24 P.S. sec. 6-696(i)(3), was unconstitutional, violating the non-delegation rule of Article II, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Accordingly Respondents’ actions taken pursuant to that provision were null and void, and Respondents were permanently enjoined from taking further action under the authority it conferred. View "W. Phila A.C.E. Sch. v. S.D. of Phila." on Justia Law

by
In a discretionary appeal, the issue presented to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was whether the Transfer between Entities Act (a provision of the Public School Code designed to protect teachers affected by inter-school transfers of educational programs) applied where the transferred students were placed into pre-existing classes and no new classes added. The Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, a public vocational technical school (the “Vocational School”), provided career and technical training to high school students from numerous sending school districts within Westmoreland County, including Appellee Penn-Trafford School District (“Penn-Trafford”). For a number of years, the Vocational School taught math to students from the high schools in such districts who were enrolled in career and technical programs at the Vocational School. During this time, the sending school districts were providing the same math instruction to students in their high schools who were not enrolled at the Vocational School. In early 2010, eight sending school districts, including Penn-Trafford, advised the Vocational School that, beginning with the 2010-11 school year, they would be providing math instruction to the vocational students at the students’ home high schools rather than sending them to the Vocational School for math. Due to these changes, the Vocational School curtailed its math offerings and suspended five certified math teachers. The Supreme Court concluded that the transfer of students and the assumption of program responsibility by the receiving entity were alone sufficient to implicate the protections conferred under the Act. The Commonwealth Court's order was reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings. View "CWC v. Penn-Trafford" on Justia Law