Justices keep layoffs in lower court

Posted: June 16, 2011

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Philadelphia School District will have to defend in Common Pleas Court its plan to lay off more than 1,500 teachers.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers sued the district last week, challenging officials' decision to exempt about 200 teachers from Promise Academies, chronically underperforming city schools that run longer school days and receive extra resources. The union said the exemptions violated the teachers' contract.

The district issued more than 3,000 pink slips June 6; the PFT's court action involves only the teacher layoffs.

After Common Pleas Court Judge Idee C. Fox issued a restraining order against the district last week, School District attorneys moved to have the case heard in the state's highest court, citing the state law that created the School Reform Commission. - James Osborne

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