In August of last year, two civil cases were filed against Unified School District 475 by educators within the district. In both cases, the Geary County District Court found in favor of the school district. However, one of those cases is scheduled to be appealed this September.
The Kansas Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear Dustin Delehanty, William E. Gies Jr. and Junction City Education Association v. USD 475 Board of Education Sept. 17.
According to documents provided by the District Court, the civil case was initially brought before Geary County District Court Aug. 28, 2018.
Delehanty and Gies are high school teachers within USD 475 who allege the district made them teach a remedial reading course without compensation, thus violating provisions of the district’s 2016-2017 negotiated agreement with the JCEA.
Plaintiffs alleged that the reading course, known as MTTSr, increased their workload and that they are due additional pay. USD 475, however, contends that the course is not an additional class or an “overload assignment,” and therefore no additional pay is due.
The Plaintiffs filed multiple grievances with the district, each time being denied by USD 475.
The negotiated agreement, according to documents provided by the district court, defines USD 475 “teaching loads.”
Within this article, there are stipulations addressing “overload assignments,” “alternative schedules based on student needs” which may be implemented by a building’s principal “as long as the teacher workload is not changed,” and stipulation allowing for additional duties to be assigned within the duty day.
District Judge Steven Hornbaker ruled in favor of USD 475, saying that the district acted in accordance with the negotiated agreement and the law. Court documents state that the court found no evidence that the remedial reading program was an overload assignment.
Hornbaker also granted the district’s Motion for Summary Judgement and ordered that costs be assessed by Delehanty and Gies.
This is the decision that is scheduled to be appealed Sept. 17.
This is not the only incident where the district was sued by educators during this timeframe. The District Court also provided information about Michael Whaley v. USD 475 Board of Education, which was filed Aug. 2, 2018.
In it, Whaley, a Fort Riley Middle School teacher, alleged the district violated terms of USD 475’s negotiated agreement with the JCEA for the 2016-2017 school year, when the district made educators teach an anti-bullying program without additional compensation. The program took place at FRMS during what the court papers referred to as “Trooper Time,” a half-hour period on Friday mornings.
“Plaintiffs believed that because this instruction went beyond their contractually agreed (five) periods-per-day of instruction, they should get additional compensation,” the court document said.
Whaley filed grievances with the district, but each time was denied by the Board of Education.
The District Court also denied the plaintiffs’, ruling in favor of USD 475. District Judge Ryan W. Rosauer cited the same article in the negotiated agreement addressing teacher workloads in a memorandum concerning his ruling on the matter.
However, he did not grant he district’s Motion for Summary Judgement against the defendants.
This ruling in favor of the district is not scheduled for appeal at this time.