Court Fines Louisiana for Post-Katrina Mass Firing of Teachers
Friday, July 06, 2012
Nearly 7,000 teachers were wrongly terminated following Hurricane Katrina, a Louisiana judge has ruled.
Four months after disaster struck New Orleans in August 2005, school board officials decided to fire 7,500 employees who at the time were on “disaster leave without pay.” The teachers sued the Orleans Parish School Board, and Civil District Court Judge Ethel Simms Julien recently decided in their favor, branding “disaster leave without pay” a “fictional” employment status.
Julien concluded that the state was liable for leaving the school board without the funds to fulfill its contractual obligations to its workers.
The judge must still decide how much money each teacher is entitled to receive.
Now, seven years after Katrina, public schools in the area have “dismal” academic ratings as New Orleans switched its emphasis to non-unionized charter schools and created a system of economic segregation, writes Michelle Chen for In These Times. “Regardless of student performance, the rush to fix troubled schools has eroded a basic pillar of public education—a collective mission to serve the community through shared resources and responsibilities.”
To Learn More:
New Orleans Teachers Get Justice, but Schools Still Under Attack (by Michelle Chen, In These Times)
Decision Pending on Mass Firing of New Orleans Public School Teachers After Hurricane Katrina (by Andrew Vanacore, New Orleans Times-Picayune)
New Orleans Public Schools Employees Justice (NOPSE Justice)
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