From Gotham Schools:
An arbitrator has ruled that the city’s plans to reform 24 struggling schools by shaking up their staffs violated its collective bargaining agreements with the teachers and principals unions.
The arbitrator’s decision adds a new and abrupt twist to months of uncertainty at the schools. It also guarantees that the city cannot claim more than $40 million in federal funds that the overhaul process, known as “turnaround,” was aimed at securing.
The turnaround rules require the schools to replace half of their teachers, and the city was trying to use a clause in its contract with the teachers union, known as 18-D, to make that happen. In recent weeks, “18-D committees” told hundreds and possibly thousands of teachers and staff members at the schools they could not return next year.
Under the arbitrator’s ruling, all of those staff members are now free to take their jobs back.
The decision is a shocking blow to the Bloomberg administration, which turned to turnaround in January in a bid to win the federal funds without negotiating a new evaluation system with the United Federation of Teachers.