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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia teachers union is vowing to fight a plan to exempt teachers at the district’s Promise Academies from being laid off in the current budget crisis.

With plans to eliminate 1200 teaching jobs because of a huge budget gap, the district wants to protect the jobs of teachers at its Promise Academies — those are poorly performing schools being overhauled by the district. There are six Promise Academies now, and there will be a total of 16 next year.  Superintendent Arlene Ackerman wants those teachers exempt from layoffs.

“Those schools have suffered from years of revolving doors of teachers and other staff members.  And what we’re trying to bring — what we’d like to bring to those schools is stability.”

But the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers wants all of its teachers treated equally, saying its contract does not allow for a protected class and the district never talked about exemptions during negotiations.

State law gives the SRC the power to impose contract terms. That’s something the SRC has never done, but Ackerman says now, the district is exploring all of its options.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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