GAE Legal Services…Standing with
GAE members when they stand for justice
22 | KNOW • Volume 15 Issue 1
See the GAE
Promise in Action.
Real wins for
An elementary school teacher was accused
of allowing a child to fall to the floor and injure
herself with a carpet burn on the forehead.
The educator was pregnant at the time of the
encounter and feared the child would injure her
and her baby when the child pulled away, so
she let go of the child’s hand. The teacher’s
apprehension was understandable - earlier in the
day, the student told the educator “I hope your
baby dies.” Although a tribunal recommended
a three day suspension, the board of education
dismissed all charges.
The educator failed to receive a step increase in
January 2007 due to her reassignment from a
position at a year-round school to a position in
a traditional school, beginning in the 2006-2007
school year. The educator and the school district
went back and forth as to the amount owed
without a resolution. Exasperated, the member
contacted GAE legal services in June 2015.
After negotiations, the member received all back
pay and salary adjustments moving forward of
over $19,000.00. GAE also received $2,500 in
attorney fees that will go into the defense fund to
help other members.
Contact GAE ASAP!
Your GAE UniServ Director (UD) is
trained to provide you with the
assistance you need. Your UD can
put you in contact with our attorneys
— specialists in educator defense.
Find contact info for your UD at
Do you have a
legal question for
our resident expert?
Email your question to Mike.McGonigle
@gae.org. Please include your name,
contact information, and GAE
membership number. We’ll get back
to you as soon as possible. For urgent
matters, call GAE at 800-282-7142 or
contact your GAE UniServ Director.
The information provided is intended only
as a general guide to employment rights of
Georgia educators and is neither complete
nor intended to provide legal advice on a
In August, the Georgia Association of Educators
(GAE), Atlanta Association of Educators, and
individual employees, filed suit in Fulton County
Superior Court against the Atlanta Public Schools
(APS) for noncompliance with the state’s Charter
School Act (CSA).
On March 7, 2016, the Atlanta Board of
Education adopted a “turnaround plan” that
calls for contracting out the entire operation
and management of five schools, including
Thomasville Heights Elementary, to two private
charter operators. The lawsuit takes aim at
the turnaround plan and its false narrative of
chronically failing public schools.
The suit contends there is nothing in the CSA
—or anywhere else in Title 20 of the education
code—that authorizes school districts to
delegate away the operation and management
of entire schools to private companies. In
addition, the suit challenges APS’s operation as
a charter school district without preserving the
due process protections that teachers previously
earned under the Fair Dismissal Act.
A hearing was held on January 26 that lasted
a bit over an hour. Fulton County Chief Judge
Gail Tusan asked both sides to present Proposed
Findings and Order within two weeks for her
review and consideration. She will make a
decision, hopefully, within thirty days after
receiving the proposed findings and proposed
order from both sides.
We will keep you posted on the findings.
Read full release: https://t.e2ma.net/