Thursday, June 29, 2017

Washoe County School District Gossip

Former principal Kara White, who was terminated in 2013 by the district, has lost her appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

It is very hard to overturn an arbitrator's award. They are supposed to be final. You have to go the civil court route to fight a school district termination.



Here is the decision. Scroll clear to the bottom of the page for the June 29 link.

Snip:

White argues that the Award was arbitrary and capricious because substantial evidence does not support Arbitrator Cohn's finding of dishonesty. 7 We disagree.
"The arbitrary-and-capricious standard does not permit a reviewing court to vacate an arbitrator's award based on a misinterpretation of the law." Clark Cty. Educ. Ass'n, 122 Nev. at 343-44, 131 P.3d at 9 (emphasis added). Instead, a court's review of the arbitrary and capricious standard is "limited to whether the arbitrator's findings are
supported by substantial evidence in the record." Id. at 344, 131 P.3d at 9-10.

First, we conclude that Arbitrator Cohn's primary justification for affirming White's discharge was her dishonesty in regard to the misuse of SAFs. Arbitrator Cohn defines "dishonesty" in a footnote, which states that "[am n qu]ntruthful' finding requires preponderant proof of a willful misstatement or omission of material fact." Arbitrator Cohn then
examined the records of the arbitration proceedings and concluded that, based on considerable documentary evidence and testimonies, White's alleged lack of understanding in regard to the use of SAFs and her inability to recall the Manual was implausible such that her responses to the District during her investigatory meeting were dishonest.
We further conclude that there is substantial evidence to support Arbitrator Cohn's findings of dishonesty. First, training on SAFs was provided during White's first year as a principal for Lemmon Valley, in which she was advised that principals were accountable for all school funds and accounts under their supervision. Moreover, the training
emphasized that SAFs could not be used to purchase gift cards for employees. Second, following the 2009 random audit of Lemmon Valley, White was specifically told to reference the Manual. White also responded in writing that she would no longer engage in the improper use of school funds, including the use of SAFs to purchase gift cards for employees.
Third, a copy of the Manual was available at Lemmon Valley, and was provided on the school website. Finally, training materials for SAFs were emailed to White in 2011, which again referenced the Manual. As such, the record shows that the District ensured that principals were well informed of the policies and restrictions relating to the use of SAFs, and
that White was personally educated on the matter. Accordingly, we hold that the Award is neither arbitrary nor capricious.

CONCLUSION

We hold that Arbitrator Cohn did not exceed his authority in affirming the District's termination of White. We further hold that Arbitrator Cohn did not manifestly disregard the law and that his decision was not arbitrary or capricious. As such, we reverse the district court's order granting White's motion to vacate the Award.

My understanding is she also had trouble with faculty, even being named as a defendant in a lawsuit at one point. Regardless, misuse of funds is a big no-no in public employment, including and especially school districts.

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