Statement by Lou St. John, president of the New Bedford Educators Association, in response to a ruling by the Appeals Court that school employees and their representatives do not have “standing” to challenge the commissioner of education’s authority in respect to employment decisions at so-called turnaround schools and districts, even if the employees believe the commissioner’s actions are not permitted under state law.
“We are very disappointed with the court’s ruling. It is always better when school administrators and teachers and their unions work together to resolve problems in their schools.
“Our lawsuit alleged that the commissioner did not comply with the law when he took over the John Avery Parker School in New Bedford. By saying that teachers have no right to challenge the commissioner, the court effectively places the commissioner above the law.
“The MTA has a bill scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 12 before the Joint Committee on Education on S. 308, and omnibus education bill that includes a provision to address the imbalance that the court has now enshrined in law. We will be urging the Legislature to pass this provision so that teachers are equal partners with administrators in making sure students receive the services they need to succeed in school.”