By Bill Wichert, NJ Advance Media for

NEWARK — Less than three months into his job as a health and physical education teacher in Newark, Peter Kowalsky was severely beaten by a student in November 2005, causing him to remain on medical leave for roughly four school years.

After then working during three school years, the city’s school district fired Kowalsky in August 2012 for budgetary reasons, saying he had not attained tenure status.

But in a recent decision, a state appeals court found Kowalsky was a tenured teacher and ruled he must be reinstated to his position, along with back pay and other benefits owed to him.

“It was just another act of trying to reduce the budget at the cost of an excellent employee,” said Kowalsky’s attorney, Eugene Liss, adding that the “Appellate Division…was on the money.”


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