Pa. Supreme Court Will Likely Enter Teachers Union, School District Layoff Dispute
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the ongoing legal battle over layoffs between the teachers union and Philadelphia school district, it appears likely that the State Supreme court will take up the case and has scheduled a lower court hearing for Tuesday, meaning teacher layoffs will probably remain on hold for now.
With pink slips already sent out, upset teacher’s rallied outside school district headquarters Monday afternoon.
The district is staring at a $629 million hole and it wants to lay off about 1,500 teachers to help try and close the budget gap.
The head of the teachers’ union argues the deficit has been poorly managed by the SRC along with the superintendent who should have seen this coming.
“Certainly spending just continued and was not really reigned in. So unfortunately our members and the children are the ones who are being adversely affected,” said President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Jerry Jordan.
Late Monday evening it became evident that the State Supreme Court is expected to take up the case to determine if the district can proceed with the teacher layoff’s over the union’s objections.
About 200 teachers who work for Promise Academies were spared by the School Reform Commission from the layoffs.
“Because we wanted to see if the remedial work we are doing, the turnaround work we are doing is working. If you go to any of those schools you will see it,” said Leroy Nunery, Assistant Superintendent.
The union argues the SRC can not pick and choose which teachers get laid off, and by doing so, the SRC violated the union’s collective bargaining agreement.
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This all comes as teachers and parents packed Monday night’s SRC meeting to voice their concerns.
“We can not balance the budget on the backs of our teachers,” said Christine Carlson, a concerned parent.
The District contends a cut in sate aid of more then 290 million was a surprise no one could see coming.
The teacher layoffs were set to take effect July 1st.
Reported Todd Quinones, CBS 3