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Ahrensfield v. State Board of Education

Decided: March 1, 1940.

CLARA E. AHRENSFIELD, PROSECUTRIX,
v.
THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE BOROUGH OF ROSELLE PARK IN THE COUNTY OF UNION, AND CHARLES H. ELLIOTT, STATE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutrix, John M. Kerner.

For the respondents, Martin P. O'Connor.

Before Justices Bodine and Perskie.

Perskie

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PERSKIE, J. The basic question we are called upon to decide in this cause is whether the State Board of Education

was right in sustaining the State Commissioner of Education who dismissed prosecutrix' petition to compel the Board of Education of Roselle Park to grant her tenure as a school teacher, to direct her reinstatement, and to pay her certain back salary.

Prosecutrix was first employed by the Board of Education of Roselle Park by a contract dated June 16th, 1931. Under the terms of that contract she was to teach in the Roselle Park public schools from September 1st, 1931, to June 30th, 1932, at a salary of $1,300. This she did.

By contract dated March 15th, 1932, prosecutrix was re-employed at the same salary to teach for the period from September 1st, 1932, to June 30th, 1933.

By contract dated May 17th, 1933, she was employed for the third time. Under the terms of this contract, she was to serve from September 1st, 1933, to June 30th, 1934, at the same salary as she had previously received.

On April 17th, 1934, during prosecutrix' service under this contract, the Board of Education of Roselle Park adopted a resolution opposing the placing of married female teachers under tenure of office, and announced a policy not to tender contracts to any married female teacher for the school year 1934-1935, except to those "already protected by the Tenure of Office act."

We mark the fact, at this point, that on June 5th, 1934, the legislature amended the act concerning the period of service necessary to establish tenure. By chapter 188, Pamph. L. 1934, p. 461, ยง 1, it provided, inter alia, that "service of all teachers" in any school district of this state shall be "during good behavior and efficiency," (1) "after the expiration of a period of employment of three consecutive calendar years in that school district unless a shorter period is fixed by the employing board," or, (2) "upon beginning service for the fourth consecutive academic year," or, (3) "upon continuous ...


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