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Wilkerson v Jackson Public Schools 5.13

Section 27(i)

DENIAL PERIOD, Academic year, Customary vacation periods, Adult education

CITE AS: Wilkerson v Jackson Public Schools, 170 Mich App 133 (1988); lv den 432 Mich 878 (1989).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Susan A. Wilkerson, et al

Employer: Jackson Public Schools

Docket No: B83 18600 96681

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The summer breaks for this program for the years at issue were not periods between successive academic years or established and customary vacation periods. As such the provisions of 27(i) were not applicable.

FACTS: The claimants were teachers and aides in the Adult Basic Education program. Students may enroll at any time during the year. Some students complete the program in several class sessions, others take years. Advancement depends on the individual's progress. Prior to 1982 this program operated year-round with only a two week break in the summer. In 1982 this break was expanded to 4 weeks. In 1983 the break increased to 10 weeks. In the 1983-84 school year the program's summer instruction was eliminated and the program was to operate on the same schedule as the K-12 school program.

DECISION: Claimants are not ineligible under school denial period of Section 27(i).

RATIONALE: "The length of the ABE instructional periods is determined by budgetary constraints rather than by the length of time needed to complete the requirements of a particular grade or course. Students do not, as a matter of plan, complete any particular grade or course within any specified time period and they re-enter the program after each break at the same instructional level as when class sessions ended. See Bonnette, 165 Mich App at 472-473. We believe that, as a matter of law, the break periods in the ABE program cannot be classified as periods between two successive academic years.... We also conclude that the summer breaks between 1982 and 1984 cannot be considered established and customary vacation periods.... The summer break schedule changed each year during the three-year transition, making the length of the break too unpredictable to be considered established and customary. We agree with the trial court that the legislative purpose of MESA was to protect workers from the 'economic crunch' caused by unexpected periods of unemployment such as those created by the school district in this case."


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