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AGO 1952 No. 382 - August 19, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

STATUS OF PERSONNEL IN THE DIVISION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

The supervisor and certificated teachers and employees are entitled to permanent status in the division of children and youth services and the superintendents of the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf need not necessarily be regarded as in the category of certificated teachers and employees.

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                                                                 August 19, 1952

Honorable Harold A. Lang
Supervisor
State Personnel Board
1209 Smith Tower
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 382

Dear Sir:

            Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of August 11, 1952, in which you request our opinion regarding the status of certain persons employed by the Division of Children and Youth Services.  Specifically your questions are whether under § 5, chapter 234, Laws of 1951 (RCW 43.19.290) it is intended to withhold permanent status from the supervisor and certificated teachers and employees or merely to provide for their appointment on a non-competitive basis, and if the answer to the foregoing is "yes", is it mandatory to regard the superintendent of the School for the Deaf and the superintendent of the School for the Blind as being in the category of certificated teachers and employees under the statutes which establish the minimum qualifications of appointees to these positions.

            It is our conclusion that the statute does intend to confer permanent status upon the supervisor and certificated teachers and employees, and it is not mandatory to regard the superintendent of the School for the Deaf and the superintendent of the School for the Blind as being in the category of certificated teachers and employees.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 5, chapter 234, Laws of 1951, provides:

            "All employees of the division except the supervisor and certificated teachers or employees shall be appointed through competitive examination conducted by the state personnel board:  Provided, That upon the taking effect of this act, all the personnel of the Washington State Training School, State School for Girls, Lakeland Village, Rainier State School, the State School for the Blind, and the State School for the Deaf, shall be retained as employees of the division pending determination by the supervisor as to their permanent status, which is dependent also upon their ability within one year to meet the requirements for their respective positions according to the standards established by the state personnel board with the advice of the supervisor."

            With respect to the appointment of the supervisor, the preceding section authorizes the director of public institutions with the advice of the State Council for Children and Youth to appoint a supervisor.  The appointment is thus specifically provided for in another section and consequently is excepted from the provisions of section 5 relative to appointment through competitive examination.

            Section 14 of chapter 234 of the Laws of 1951 relates to educational facilities of persons in the various institutions and schools covered by the act.  This section permits the education of children through agreement with the local school district or permits the division to provide a comprehensive school program within the institution itself.  The last paragraph of section 14 reads:

            "In the event that either option is exercised, all teachers shall meet all certification requirements and the program shall conform to the usual standards defined by law or by regulations of the state board of education or the office of the state superintendent of public instruction, and/or other recognized national certificating agencies."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            Since teachers are required by the section just quoted to be certificated, apparently the legislature felt that a further examination to qualify them for appointment was not necessary.  Section 11 provides:

            "No employee on permanent status shall be discharged, except for cause, and then only after hearing by the state personnel board, or the person or persons designated by it, if demanded."

            In the portion of the statute just referred to no exception is made of the positions of supervisor or certificated teachers or employees.  The personnel board with the advice of the supervisor is required by section 6 to establish the requirement standards for each classification.

            Under the provisions above referred to, permanent status can be accorded to persons when the supervisor shall determine that they meet the requirements for their respective positions.  Under section 10, the supervisor with the approval of the director may accord permanent status to persons not selected from an eligibility list.  Since such action by the supervisor must be approved by the director, we do not believe that it is necessarily inferred that the position of supervisor itself could not be passed upon and given permanent status.  Since the director must approve the action of the supervisor in this regard, the requirement is not so inherently unreasonable as to indicate that the legislature did not intend the office of supervisor to have permanent status.  Section 1, which contains the preamble of the act, says that one of the purposes is:

            "* * * to insure non-political and qualified operation, supervision, management, and control of the Washington State Training School, the State School for Girls, Lakeland Village, Rainier State School, the State School for the Blind, and the State School for the Deaf, * * *."

            This statement indicates a desire upon the part of the legislature to see that the supervision, management and control of the institutions are placed upon a nonpolitical basis.  This statement fortifies our conclusion that permanent status is to be accorded to the supervisor and certificated teachers and employees as well as to other employees of the division.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]

            Your second question deals with the necessity of superintendents for the School for the Deaf and School for the Blind being in the category of certificated teachers and employees.  The only requirement for certification is " * * * all teachers shall meet all certification requirements * * * ".  It will be noted that this requirement in section 14 relates only to teachers.  Under this act it might be entirely possible to set up a school program entirely separate from the general administration of these schools.  This would be particularly true if the first option were exercised and the education of the children were handled through a local school district.  Unless the superintendent is actually engaged in teaching, or in the direct supervision of a teaching program, we see no requirement in the act for his being certificated or for regarding him as being in the category of "certificated teachers and employees."

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

LYLE L. IVERSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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