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Decision No. 13,312

Application to reopen the appeal of ISOBEL KLEINMAN from action of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. George Goldstein, relating to teacher workload.

Decision No. 13,312

(December 16, 1994)

Janet Axelrod, Esq., National Education Association of New York, attorney for petitioner

Douglas E. Libby, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--This is an application to reopen Appeal of Kleinman (34 Ed Dept Rep 1), in which I dismissed petitioner's appeal alleging her teaching load exceeded the limits established in Commissioner's regulation '100.2(i). The application must be denied.

In the original appeal, I found respondent employed petitioner as a physical education teacher for 26 years. Petitioner is currently assigned to a rotating four day schedule, comprised of nine 40 minute periods in each school day. She teaches a total of 213 students with between 33 and 43 students per class. Petitioner's daily schedule additionally includes one 40 minute preparation period, one study hall, lunch and a productivity period when she covers for absent teachers or performs departmental duties. Petitioner's job duties include planning curriculum, teaching, evaluating student progress, grading, paperwork and acting as a parent liaison. There is no homework.

Petitioner has failed to demonstrate sufficient grounds to warrant reopening. 8 NYCRR 276.5 provides that such applications are addressed solely to the discretion of the Commissioner, and will not be granted in the absence of a showing that a decision was rendered under a misapprehension of fact or that there is new and material evidence which was not available at the time the original decision was made.

Petitioner alleges that my decision should be reopened because I made a factual misstatement regarding the number of classes she teaches on days 2 and 4. Petitioner contends she really teaches five classes on these days, not four, as I stated in the decision. The decision also states that petitioner has 200 minutes of scheduled preparation time per week. Any confusion about the number of classes taught by petitioner on any given day does not affect my determination that she has sufficient preparation time to accommodate her need to evaluate students and plan her lessons.

An application for reopening is not intended to provide an opportunity for reargument of a prior decision on the law (Application of Impellizzeri, 32 Ed Dept Rep 295; Application of Ferris, 30 id. 444; Application of Burke, 28 id. 205). Petitioner attempts to reargue the merits of the original petition by claiming that my decision is based upon the physical constraint of limited teaching stations and that such constraints do not exist. Despite petitioner's contentions to the contrary, the record supports the determination that physical constraints limit teaching stations. Moreover, the original decision also found that:

... there is no homework for petitioner to grade, and participation, skills and fitness account for 90% of the students' grades, with only 10% of the grade from written examinations. Therefore, unlike many academic subjects, less time outside of class is actually required for grading and reviewing students' work.

My decision clearly addressed concerns other than the physical constraints of the building, and any effort by petitioner to assert otherwise is merely reargument of the merits of her original appeal.