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Teachers union wants Supreme Court to overturn layoff ban


The biggest teachers union in Los Angeles will likely ask the state Supreme Court to overturn a recent court decision blocking teacher layoffs at 45 struggling schools.

A.J. Duffy, president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, told California Watch this week that his group is seriously considering filing a complaint with the state's highest court out of concern for the "unintended consequences" an outright ban on layoffs would have at the Los Angeles Unified School District. Blocking 45 schools from cuts will mean other schools will be forced to lose teachers, Duffy said.

The Court of Appeals on Monday shot down the union's request to delay a legal settlement won by the ACLU that blocks LA Unified from eliminating teachers at schools considered consistently underperforming. The ACLU had accused the district of violating the constitutional rights of students to a fair and equal education by imposing massive teacher layoffs and budget cuts at schools that were already struggling. In January, Judge William F. Highberger approved an settlement between the ACLU and LAUSD, which prompted the union to complain to the Court of Appeals. The court has not ruled on the union's complaint.

Duffy said the union could agree to freeze layoffs at three schools, but to ban them at 42 more would cause "chaos." If the decision is not reworked, Duffy said he feared LA Unified administrators would cut teachers at "another school and then another school" until the district meets its budgetary target.

"This is not the way to attack the problem," Duffy said. "You've got to make up the cuts somewhere."

In October, Duffy said in published reports that the union was shut out of settlement talks. But the ACLU disputed Duffy's contentions and claimed the teachers union walked out on talks.

'The union voluntarily absented itself from the negotiations,' said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California. 'We called the union multiple times and encouraged them to participate. If they weren't in the room, it's because they walked out and refused to come back in.'



Filed under: K–12, Daily Report


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Allen Osborn's picture
"Chaos" is UTLA making hiring/firing decisions based on seniority. LAUSD needs to be a sovereign district free from union manipulation. If it weren't for UTLA's stranglehold on the district LAUSD wouldn't be in this position in the first place. Teacher unions will spare no expense and completely undermine school districts' ability to educate in their efforts to remain in control. It's actions like Mr. Duffy's and the UTLA's that have given conservatives across the country ample ammunition to rightfully strip teacher unions of their collective bargaining privileges. Make no mistake, the untold amount of dollars UTLA is using to fight this common sense ruling, are dollars spent by taxpayers to educate the children of California, not fund litigation by whiney unions. Every dollar taken by force by a union is a dollar taken by force from children. Teachers deserve the right to say no to unions, and unions should be forced to respect teachers enough to simply ask for their membership and dues. With simple reforms like these the taxpayers of California will cease to be on the hook in frivolous lawsuits like this one. The tax payers are fitting the bill for both sides of this case. Ridiculous!

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