The closing of 19 New York City Schools has been voided by a judge this afternoon, who concurred with claims in a lawsuit brought by the United Federation of Teachers union, among other groups and individual teachers, that the closings violated provisions of the city’s mayoral control law.
In the decision, the Manhattan judge said the nation’s largest school district committed “significant violations” of the state’s education law.
The union sued the city in February, saying the city didn’t follow portions of the mayoral control law, revised last summer, that added more community voice to decisions. A community advisory board was ignored, the union said, and notice of public hearings was barely given.
Read more about the initial filing and today’s ruling from the great folks at GothamSchools.org.
In order to close the schools now, the city will have to start all over again. Judge Joan B. Lobis of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan said she realized it would cause some difficulty in student assignment, but wrote that if citizens are to have any meaningful say in school decisions, the city must follow the parts of the law that address citizen participation.
“That whole legislative scheme must be enforced, and not merely the portion extending mayoral control of the schools,” she wrote.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.