La Marque ISD seeks reversal of TEA decision

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 12, 2011, 8:13am

GALVESTON – The La Marque Independent School District is asking a local state district judge to reverse a decision regarding a former employee made by a Texas Education Agency commissioner last year.

LMISD requests that Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner overturn Commissioner of Education Robert Scott's ruling in favor of Marrilyn McMillan, a recently terminated teacher, a lawsuit filed Jan. 10 says.

In February 2010, the plaintiff's school board voted to approve a reduction in force due to a program change. McMillan, who is also a defendant in the case, was an employee whose term contract was affected by the vote.

LMISD accepted the superintendent's recommendation to identify the employment area to which McMillan was assigned and give notice to the educator that she was entitled to a hearing in accordance with district policy. It eventually voted to non-renew McMillan's term employment contract the following month.

McMillan filed an appeal to Commissioner Scott's office, and in October 2010, a finding stating that said appeal should be granted was issued.

The suit points claims the commissioner alleged LMISD did not vote to propose the non-renewal of McMillan's contract, yet he "did not conclude that the respondent (the plaintiff) ultimately reached the wrong decision."

"Therefore, the respondent's decision should not be reversed," the original petition says.

The school district insists the commissioner's decision does not meet the statutory standard required to reverse the board's decision, emphasizing its move should only be reversed "if the board's procedural irregularity was likely to have led to an erroneous decision by the board."

"The likelihood of reaching an erroneous decision based on the board's vote on March 29, 2010, was not and cannot be shown in the present case," the suit says.

Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos & Green PC is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 11-cv-0030

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