A principal was employed on an at-will basis at a charter school. The principal was notified that the charter school was terminating her employment and filed a grievance in accordance with the policies established by the charter school to contest that action.
The school denied the grievances at levels 1 and 2 and then declined to consider the grievance at level 3, so the principal filed an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.
The issue that the commissioner had to decide was whether charter school employees have the right to file appeals. School employees at a traditional school district have the right to file an appeal to the commissioner regarding any "actions or decisions of any school district board of trustees that violate the school laws of the state." However, that right does not extend to charter school employees, because charter schools are exempt from many of the school laws of the state.
Additionally, the commissioner has the authority to consider cases that allege that a school district has violated a written contract. But since the principal was an at-will employee who did not have a contract, this provision did not apply either.
The commissioner concluded that he did not have the authority to consider the principal's appeal and dismissed the case.
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