Marvel v. Coal Hill Public School District

635 S.W.2d 245 (1982)

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Marvel v. Coal Hill Public School District

Arkansas Supreme Court
635 S.W.2d 245 (1982)

EL

Facts

Deborah Marvel (plaintiff) previously worked for a school district (defendant) as an aide but was promoted to a position to work as a full-time teacher. Marvel’s new position divided her school day into five hours working as a teacher and two hours working as the school librarian. According to Marvel, the district superintendent assured her that she would be paid a full-time teacher’s salary. The district filed a salary schedule with the Arkansas Department of Education, which included a minimum full-time teacher salary of $11,450. Marvel’s contract only provided a $9,800 salary. In Marvel’s new position, she worked as a teacher within the meaning of state statute and performed all the responsibilities of a full-time teacher. Marvel gave students grades, kept attendance, and planned for classes. Marvel worked seven periods a day, one period more than required for a full-time position. A portion of Marvel’s duties included teaching remedial reading, a position funded by a federal grant. Marvel sued her school district in state trial court, alleging that her contract violated her right to her district’s minimum teacher salary. The district argued that it was limited by the federal grant as to how much it could compensate Marvel. The district also argued that Marvel should be bound to her contract and that part of Marvel’s duties included acting as a librarian. The trial court found in favor of the district and dismissed Marvel’s suit. Marvel appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hickman, J.)

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