Thursday, May 23, 2013

Supreme Court sides with STRS that instructors at a virtual learning academy were not "teachers" under Ohio law

In a split 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio has sided with the State Teachers Retirement System that instructors at a "virtual learning academy", or VLA, are not teachers eligible to participate in STRS. A VLA is an "internet-based educational delivery system designed for K-12 students." In the case, Jefferson County Educational Service Center had partnered with an online school to provide education to public school students. The ESC withheld contributions from those teachers to pay STRS. However, STRS returned the money, stating that in its judgment, the instructors were not teachers within the meaning of the Ohio Rev. Code. Ultimately, the Supreme Court agreed.