With the framework of New York State and Federal Law, the City School District of New Rochelle is governed, on a day to day basis, by Superintendent’s Regulations. To understand what has gone on with Jose Martinez, the hiring of 9 people in the last 6 weeks without the required background checks and, in particular, the hiring of Nadine Pacheco as administrator at Trinity Elementary School, one needs to understand the district’s own rules and the ways in which they were not followed.
In particular, it is important to be familiar with Superintendent’s Regulations 4110, 4120 and 412, as well as, Section 2573 of the New York Code Rules & Regulations.
4120 explains the need to consider only qualified candidates:
“All persons nominated for employment shall meet all qualifications established by the State Education Department and the Board of Education for the type of positions for which the nomination is made.” Also, “Recruitment activity shall insure that an adequate number of properly certified and qualified candidates are recruited.” (emphasis added).
412 explains the process within the organization by which a candidate is hired. There is an initial screening by the Human Resources Office, there is a screening and interview process at the building or departmental level, a candidate is then recommended to the head Human Resources officer who then forwards a recommendation to the Superintendent of Schools who then considers the recommendation and with Board of Education approval authorizes a job offer and, if accepted, the Superintendent formally recommends the candidate to the Board of Education for approval.
All of which is a very long way of saying that there is plenty of blame to go around for the hiring of Nadine Pacheco at Trinity and that attempts by school officials to dump the entire mess into the lap of Peg Pecunia, the former HR officer who retired over the summer are an attempt to avoid responsibility when many people played a role in hiring Pacheco without a license.
The relevant text follows:
Philosophy Of The Personnel Department 4110
Personnel employed by the City School District of New Rochelle constitute the prime resource for effectively conducting a program of quality education. Important contributions are made by all staff members – both professional and non-professional. The School District functions best when it employs highly qualified personnel, conducts appropriate staff development activities, and establishes policies and working conditions which are conducive to high morale and which enable each staff member to make his/her fullest contribution to the District’s programs and services.
The District’s Personnel Department shall develop and implement strategies and procedures for personnel, recruitment, screening, selection, evaluation, and continued employment which result in a staff which has high capabilities, a strong commitment to quality education, a respect for and a liking of young people, an ability to maintain authority comfortably, and the ability to implement effectively the programs and services, of the School District.
Recruitment And Selection 4120
The Superintendent shall ascertain the need to fill vacant positions and shall authorize recruitment and selection.
All persons nominated for employment shall meet all qualifications established by the State Education Department and the Board of Education for the type of positions for which the nomination is made. In those instances where a waiver of certification is essential, appropriate procedures for obtaining said waiver shall be initiated by the Superintendent of Schools.
Individuals on a preferred eligibility list, certified and entitled under the law to the position to be filled, shall be recalled on a seniority basis prior to any recruitment and selection of new candidates. Appointments of such individuals are subject to Board of Education approval.
The criteria for employment of teachers for the summer school shall be the same as those established for the regular instructional program.
Teachers employed for continuing education shall be qualified in their areas of instruction and certified according to state law and regulations.
Recruitment activity shall insure that an adequate number of properly certified and qualified candidates are recruited. Such activity shall be in line with the Board’s policy of being an equal opportunity employer.
Policy CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF Adopted: 1988
Recruitment And Selection 412
A. Appropriate administrators shall notify the Human Resources Office of position vacancies.
1. Individuals on a preferred eligibility list, certified and entitled under law to the position, shall be recalled on a seniority basis prior to any recruitment.
B. The Human Resources Office shall advertise vacancies in the Superintendent’s Bulletin.
1. In-district employees may make written application with the Human Resources Office.
C. Recruiting, including advertising, shall be originated from the Human Resources Office.
D. Initial screening of all applications shall be done by the Human Resources Office.
E. Appropriate building administrators or department supervisors, and site committees, as appropriate, shall screen and interview selected candidates.
F. The name of the candidate recommended for a certified position shall be forwarded to the Assistant to the Superintendent (Human Resources); the name of the candidate recommended for a non-certified position shall be forwarded to the Assistant to the Superintendent (Human Resources).
G. The recommendation shall then be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools.
H. The Superintendent shall consider the recommendation and with Board of Education approval, he/she shall authorize an offer of employment.
I. The Superintendent shall recommend the candidate to the Board of Education for approval.
Regulation Approved: 1988
City School District Of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York
Revised: Res. No. 03-158 – Jan. 7 2003
Revised: Res. No. 11-242 – Feb. 8, 2011
Revised: Res. No. 12-157 – Nov. 1, 2011
N.Y. EDN. LAW § 2573 : NY Code – Section 2573: Appointment of assistant, district or other superintendents, teachers and other employees; their salaries, et cetera.
1.(b) Administrators, directors, supervisors, principals and all other members of the supervising staff, except executive directors, associate, assistant, district and community superintendents and examiners, authorized by section twenty-five hundred fifty-four of this article, shall be appointed by the board of education, upon the recommendation of the superintendent or chancellor of schools, for a probationary period of three years. The service of a person appointed to any of such positions may be discontinued at any time during the probationary period on the recommendation of the superintendent of schools, by a majority vote of the board of education.
9. No principal, supervisor, director, or teacher shall be appointed to the teaching force of a city who does not possess qualifications required under this chapter and under the regulations prescribed by the commissioner of education for the persons employed in such positions in the schools of the cities of the state, but a board of education may prescribe additional or higher qualifications for the persons employed in any of such positions.