Demoted, transferred principals bemoan delayed appeal hearings

January 13, 1994|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Staff Writer

Some of the Baltimore County school administrators who were demoted or involuntarily transferred last spring are complaining that they are still waiting for the opportunity to appeal, more than six months after Superintendent Stuart Berger's shake-up. School officials say they will get their chance soon.

As of Friday, no hearing dates had been set for as many as 10 employees due second hearings on their transfers, said Ray Suarez, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

"The common man is still waiting on the board for his due process," Mr. Suarez told the school board Tuesday. "Most have been waiting since September." Mr. Suarez asked the board to set the hearing dates this week.

School system officials responded that letters establishing hearing dates in February and March were sent to five of the affected employees on Monday. The others will be in the mail soon, school system attorney Robert Haines said.

"It's been in process for ages. There have been a lot of cases in the pipeline. . . . I've been working through them," he said.

About 40 principals and assistant principals were demoted or transferred involuntarily -- many without notice -- at the end of the last school year, sparking protests by staff members, the union and residents.

About 10 cases remain unsettled, school and union officials agree, and all of those employees had first-level hearings with Dr. Berger during the summer and early fall.

Many of those who were moved retired or resigned. Several were reinstated after their meetings with the superintendent. "I reversed myself four times. I overruled myself," Dr. Berger said. He denied that the long wait for hearing dates was an attempt to interfere with the employees' right to appeal.

Mr. Haines said the board has set up meetings in the next two months to accommodate the appeals.

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