In an important New Jersey employment law decision, the Appellate Division of the State Superior Court examined exceptions to the 90 day limit for challenging a board of education’s decision regarding a teacher’s tenure status. In that case, Frayne v. Board of Education of the Borough of Highland Park, the Appellate Division demonstrated that the limitation period is a “hard” deadline, and missing it will likely mean the teacher’s appeal will be rejected.
Deana Frayne was a non-tenure track maternity leave replacement teacher for the Highland Park Board of Education from the 2008-2009 though 2011-2012 school years; thereafter she was employed as a full-time, tenure track teacher. She signed her fourth contract as a tenure track first grade teacher for the 2015-2016 school year on May 15, 2015. However, on June 25, 2015, she was served with a letter advising that the Board believed that she did not have tenure and that her employment would be terminated effective August 23, 2015 based on performance, behavior and attendance. The Board offered her an agreement ending her tenure track employment, giving her sixty days health benefits and salary in exchange for a release. She did not sign. She then received a Rice Notice, and on August 23, 2015, the Board voted unanimously to terminate Frayne’s employment.