DeKalb TSA Saga Continues In Georgia Supreme Court

GAE Appeals Lawsuit

GAE has filed an appeal in the lawsuit against the Fannin County Charter School System. The lawsuit was brought on behalf GAE and GAE member Elizabeth Barnes – as an individual teacher who had acquired due process rights to continued employment under the state’s Fair Dismissal Act. Initially filed in March 2018, the lawsuit takes aim at Georgia’s charter school system law that enables school districts to waive education laws such as class size, certification requirements, and due process rights for teachers by waiving compliance with the state’s education statutes on a wholesale basis. Specifically, the suit alleges the Fannin County Charter School System failed to honor Ms. Barnes’ constitutional rights and those due process rights that she earned under the state’s Fair Dismissal Act. Ms. Barnes and GAE have raised their claims against both the local and state department of education in hopes of having her statutory and constitutional rights reinstated and preserved.  To read the amended lawsuit click here and appeal click here.

GAE has filed a “friend of the court” brief at the Georgia Supreme Court in the latest appeal of the DeKalb TSA (Tax Sheltered Annuity) lawsuit. You may recall in June 2018 the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled the trial court erred on the issue of liability for breach of contract on the two year notice provision when, in 2009, the school district stopped funding contributions for this retirement benefit without providing the required notice. The Court of Appeals ruling means the school district is liable for breach of contract. The ruling also means that all employees impacted by the 2009 decision should be certified as a class action. However, the DeKalb school district filed an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Court of Appeals ruling. The importance to all GAE members is the basic notion that school board policies are incorporated into your employment contracts (aren’t they?). Oral argument at the Supreme Court was held May 7, 2019. A decision will be issued in the next few months. Read GAE’s amicus brief here.