State ex rel. Cleveland Board of Education v. State Board of Education of Ohio

464 N.E.2d 137 (1984)

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State ex rel. Cleveland Board of Education v. State Board of Education of Ohio

Ohio Supreme Court
464 N.E.2d 137 (1984)

EL

Facts

The Cleveland Board of Education (the Cleveland board) (plaintiff) filed an action in mandamus seeking to compel the State Board of Education (the state board) (defendant) and the state superintendent to waive one day of the required instructional year. Ohio state statutes allowed the state superintendent to waive instructional days out of necessity due to epidemics, weather conditions, building damage, and utility failures rendering a school unfit for use. On two winter days of the school year, union protests involving the custodial staff resulted in school closures because insufficient personnel remained on campuses to operate school boilers. Due to these two nonschool days, on the scheduled last day of the school year, the Cleveland public schools would have been one day short of the number of school days required for the instructional year. In an administrative hearing, the Cleveland board asked for a waiver of the missed instructional day and argued that the cost to the school system would be $750,000 if the school was required to make up the missed day. At the hearing, the Cleveland board’s request for the waiver was denied. The Cleveland board filed its action in mandamus with the Ohio Supreme Court, seeking a writ requiring waiver of the missed school day. The state board opposed the motion, arguing that it would disserve students to allow union protests to result in an excused missed instructional day. The Cleveland board argued that the superintendent should waive the missed days because utility failure—a category explicitly allowed in the instructional-day waiver statute—was the reason for the school closing. The Cleveland board also argued that the reasons behind a utility failure should not affect a superintendent’s decision whether to waive missed school days.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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