An elementary school teacher has been allowed to keep his job even though he was late for work 111 times over a two-year period.

In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School to fire 15-year veteran Arnold Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline.

Anderson was late 46 times in the most recent school year through March 20 and 65 times in the previous school year, the arbitrator said. But the arbitrator criticized Anderson's claim that the quality of his teaching outweighed his tardiness.

He relied on "micro-quibbles of a few unpersuasive explanations, with a macro-default position that even when he is late he nevertheless delivers a superb educational experience to his grateful students," the arbitrator wrote.

The arbitrator found that the district failed to provide Anderson with due process by providing him with a formal notice of inefficiency or by giving him 90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment.

The district has withheld raises for his tardiness and Anderson will remain suspended without pay until Jan. 1.

New state regulations that cover the filing of tenure charges require rulings by state-appointed arbitrators that once took years to occur within 90 days, making it easier to accuse teachers of inefficiency.