Unions suffer loss in teacher tenure court case

A lawsuit seeking to have New York's teacher tenure protections ruled unconstitutional will advance, thanks to a judge's ruling late Friday afternoon.

Teachers unions filed a motion to dismiss the case, but their motion was denied.

New York State United Teachers, along with the state and the city of New York, had argued that legislative changes in April made the suit unnecessary. But Justice Philip Minardo decided those changes were not grounds enough for dismissal. "The legislature's marginal changes affecting, e.g., the term of probation and/or the disciplinary proceedings applicable to teachers, are insufficient to achieve the required result," Minardo wrote in his decision.

The legislative changes make it easier for school districts to fire bad teachers and award tenure after four years of teaching instead of three.

The parents seeking to invalidate the teacher tenure protections argue the law robs children of their right to a basic education.

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