MONTGOMERY et al.
CRAWFORD et al
Fred O. Wilson, Atty. Gen., Richard C. Briney, Asst. Atty. Gen., attorneys for appellants.
Robert & Price, of Phoenix, attorneys for appellees.
La Prade, Chief Justice. Udall, Stanford, Phelps and De Concini, JJ., concur.
La Prade, Chief Justice.
[70 Ariz. 360] The present appeal is from a final judgment in mandamus ordering the appellants as the Board of Trustees of the Arizona Teachers' Retirement System to enroll the appellees in said system and permit them to secure such benefits as they may be entitled to under the Teachers' Retirement Act of 1943, Laws 1943, Ch. 61, sections 54-1701 et seq., A.C.A.1939, Cum.Pocket Supp.
The proceeding was initiated by the above-named appellees, all school teachers, for the purpose of obtaining judicial determination and recognition of their asserted rights to membership in the system and approval by the Board of Trustees of their several statements of prior teaching service. Upon issue joined the matter was submitted to the court upon an agreed statement of facts which in brief indicated that the appellees had rendered certain teaching service in Arizona public schools while holding various styled teachers' certificates issued by the State Board of Education pursuant to the authority granted by section 54-102, A.C.A.1939. Some of these certificates were designated "substitute certificate," "elementary permit," "elementary certificate," "emergency elementary certificate," "reinstated temporary emergency permit," and "reinstated temporary emergency certificate," were issued on a year-to-year basis and declared to be nonrenewable, but had been repeatedly renewed. Appellants in their briefs refer to these certificates as "substandard teachers' certificates." It was further stipulated that each of the appellees had made application for membership in the Arizona Teachers' Retirement System and for credit for prior service, some of which was rendered under these certificates, but their applications had been denied.
The question presented for determination is: Are the holders of temporary emergency teaching permits or reinstated temporary teaching certificates issued by the Arizona State Board of Education under emergency rulings occasioned by a shortage of teachers during World War II to be considered a "person holding an active teachers' certificate" as the phrase is used in the Teachers' Retirement Act of 1943, supra. This act sets up a comprehensive system for the retirement of teachers in the Arizona educational system, together with a board for its administration. Qualifications for members are defined. Provision is made for creditable service and for prior service, credit allowances before the effective date of the act, retirement from service, retirement for disability, service retirement allowances, disability retirement allowances, death benefits, etc. Section 54-1704 is entitled "Membership" and in part provides:
"(a) Any person who becomes an employee after July 1, 1943, shall become a member of the retirement system within one (1) year after the date of his first employment, as a condition of further employment.
"(b) Any person who is an employee as of the effective date of this act shall become [70 Ariz. 361] a member of the retirement system as of July 1, 1943, unless, [provisions for exclusions]." (Emphasis supplied.)
Section 54-1702 contains the following definitions:
"'Teacher' means any person holding an active teachers' certificate and engaged in instructional work, directly as classroom, laboratory, or other teacher, or indirectly as supervisory teacher, principal, superintendent, or administrative officer, in any school or educational institution or agency supported by the ...