Posts tagged "legal wrangling"
July 3, 2012
The city’s case for reinstating thousands of hiring decisions at 24 struggling schools relies on the argument that an arbitrator should never have considered reversing them in the first place.
Since January, the city has been trying to carry out a controversial overhaul process known as “turnaround” at the schools. To follow state and federal rules about staffing in turnaround schools, the city had to engineer what amounted to overnight school closures. But the UFT and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators argued that the changes were “sham closures” designed for political ends and so did not qualify the city to use the staffing rules it had invoked. On Friday, an arbitrator, Scott Buchheit, agreed with the unions.
The city voluntarily entered into the arbitration process in May at a State Supreme Court judge’s urging in order to speed the resolution of the unions’ complaint. Buchheit is one of several arbitrators that the city and teachers union have jointly agreed should hear contractual disputes.
But in a suite of legal papers filed late Monday, the city suggests that the Buchheit should have declined to consider the unions’ complaints. The main petition says that city lawyers argued to Buchheit that he should toss out the grievances before him because the union contracts did not define closure; arbitrators are barred from superseding state laws; and the Department of Education cannot bargain away power over classroom standards.
But Buchheit didn’t listen, so his ruling should be overturned, the petition says. (more…)
May 19, 2009
Elected parent leaders in Manhattan are asking the city to reverse multiple school decisions, including ones that the city has used to manage severe overcrowding in many neighborhood schools, because they say they should have been involved in making the decisions. The demand comes in a lawsuit filed yesterday, the second in three months against the Department of Education over its adherence to state law that requires parent groups to be consulted before some decisions are made.
Members of the Community Education Council for District 2, which includes the Upper East Side and most of Manhattan below Central Park, say the city violated the law by not consulting them when it made decisions about opening and closing schools and how students were assigned to district schools. With the city teachers union, they filed a lawsuit yesterday over about a dozen cases in recent years where the DOE failed to consult the CEC about major zoning changes (one case dates back to 2001).
The suit details the ways council members say the DOE brusquely informed them of its “unilateral” decisions after they had been made. Among them:
- The parent council learned about the closing of Bayard Rustin High School in Chelsea by looking at the DOE’s Web site, parents allege.
- It learned of the opening of another school via an e-mail from DOE official John White: “Good morning. Please see new addition of Quest to Learn School.” (more…)