Teachers in the District of Columbia rallied last week to protest the layoffs of nearly 400 public school employees, about 6 percent of the workforce.
The Washington Teachers Union asked in paperwork filed in D.C. Superior Court on Oct. 7 that the school district be barred from laying off the teachers until arbitration determines whether the terminations violated a union contract. The union faulted the district for hiring more than 900 teachers over the spring and summer and said it should have known they would not be needed.
School officials laid off 388 employees, including 229 teachers, citing a budget crunch. The employees are on paid leave until the dismissals take effect Nov. 2. A school district spokeswoman did not have any comment in response to the filings, but the system has 10 days to make a first response in court.
A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 2009 edition of Education Week as District of Columbia Union Sues Over Layoffs of Nearly 400 Staff