Dr. William Hite leadership of SRC and ensuing violation of state and Federal Laws leading to mismanagement of public funds has left Philly School District in poor shape.
Commonwealth Court judges have handed a win to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, ruling that the School Reform Commission cannot throw out the teachers’ union’s contract and impose new terms.
The decision was confirmed by Jerry Jordan, PFT president, on Thursday morning.
“This is a very big victory,” Jordan said.
In the decision, judges said that neither the state Public School Code nor the Legislature have expressly given the SRC the power to cancel its teachers’ contract.
“This Court is cognizant of the dire financial situation which the District currently faces and the SRC’s extensive efforts to achieve the overall goal of properly and adequately meeting the educational needs of the students,” Judge Patricia A. McCullough wrote for the court. “There have been numerous difficult decisions that the SRC has been forced to make in an effort to overcome these economic hurdles, including a one-third reduction in staff and theclosing of 31 schools in recent years.”
However, the court concluded, “glaringly absent” from the law “is is a referenceto a provision which expressly gives the SRC the right to cancel” a collective bargaining agreement.
To do so, the court said, the Legislature would need to act to grant such powers expressly.
The PFT has long argued that the SRC does not have the power to cancel contracts.
SRC Chairman Bill Green, in a statement, said he was “obviously disappointed” with the ruling.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/school_files/District-cant-impose-contract-court-rules.html#3MOPFUh3PuouhgC8.99
Philadelphia public school parents and local advocacy groups protest the SRC’s recent move to cancel the contract for teachers, nurses and staff, October 15th, 2014, on the front steps of the school district building, located at 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Kia Philpot-Hinton, with Action United, is speaking center, over a microphone. Staff Photographer / Jessica Griffin