Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Principals Join Teachers Union's Lawsuit To Prevent School Closures

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TWC News: Principals Join Teachers Union's Lawsuit To Prevent School Closures
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The teacher's and school administrator's unions furthered their effort Monday to stop the city from swapping out faculty at two dozen schools.

The United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators filed for a temporary restraining order to stop the move in Lower Manhattan.

Last month, the Panel for Educational Policy voted to close 24 under-performing schools this summer.

New schools will immediately reopen in their place, and students will return to the same buildings, but teachers and principals will have to reapply for their jobs. Only half of them are expected to be rehired.

As the new schools are technically different schools, union job protections will not apply.

The unions asked a judge Monday to stop the city from hiring new teachers until the courts can decide whether the process was legal or not.

"This is no secret to anyone in this city that what the mayor and chancellor are proposing to close these schools is a sham. These are sham closings, these are not closings," said Ernest Logan, the president of the principals' union. "This was an attempt to go around collective bargaining. The chancellor is attempting to move out educators without going through the process."

"He has now crossed a line. It's all about politics, it's no longer about education, the schools, the students," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested the unions are just out to protect their members' jobs.

"Suing to stop closing schools which are leaving our children without a future says that your agenda is not to help children, it is some other agenda," the mayor said.

The teacher's union was successful in suing to stop school closures two years ago, but last year the courts sided with the city over closures.

This is the first time the principals union has joined the suit. Both unions say this years' closings are different, that closing and reopening schools just to get rid of teachers is a clear attempt to work around their contracts.

It is now up the courts to decide if they should get the time they need to prove they are right.

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