Education

Pennsylvania's High Court Won't Rule on School Reform Questions

June 27, 2014

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not weigh in on the School Reform Commission's authority to overhaul work rules for teachers, including disregarding seniority in assignments and layoffs.

The court issued the order yesterday, with two of the seven justices dissenting. The one-page ruling does not explain why the court declined to hear the case.

Both the SRC and the teachers union offered vastly different interpretations of the order, with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers calling it a victory.

"I think the court is saying, 'We're not going to bless this action. If you want to take it, it will be a labor dispute like any other that can be resolved either through collective bargaining or grievance or arbitration dispute,' " said Deborah Willig, an attorney for the PFT.

In a joint statement, SRC chairman Bill Green and Superintendent William Hite expressed disappointment over the court's decision, but said it was not a ruling "on the merits of the case."

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