Judge Allows N.Y. Teacher Tenure Lawsuits To Proceed

NEW YORK (AP) -

A state judge ruled Thursday that two lawsuits arguing that New York state’s teacher tenure laws deprive children “of their right to a sound, basic education” can go on.

“We look forward to having our day in court,” said lead plaintiff Mona Davids, who has two children in public schools.

The United Federation of Teachers, which intervened as a defendant and sought to have the lawsuits dismissed, said it would appeal the ruling by Judge Philip Minardo.

Davids’ lawsuit was filed in Staten Island, while a second one was filed in Albany by a group headed by former CNN personality Campbell Brown. The cases were consolidated.

The plaintiffs argue that teacher tenure and layoffs by seniority deprive students of the state constitutional right for an education. They also contend the hearing process for dismissing a teacher is so cumbersome it’s almost impossible to fire an ineffective teacher.