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School advocates file brief to support teachers union

The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools said the public "will be most affected and impacted" by any SRC decision.

THE ALLIANCE for Philadelphia Public Schools has filed a brief in support of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' legal fight to block the district from eliminating teacher seniority.

The advocacy group said that as citizens of Philadelphia, they "will be most affected and impacted by any decisions of the School Reform Commission to unilaterally impose working conditions and work rule changes upon the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers," according to the filing.

"Simply stated - the working conditions of Philadelphia's teachers are the learning conditions of our schoolchildren," the filing read.

It was signed by Richard W. Migliore, who is providing legal services to the alliance pro bono.

The alliance is made up of retired district staff, teachers, administrators, counselors and others, as well as community members.

Rob McCord, candidate for the Democratic nomination for governer, also filed a brief in support of the union.

"McCord has sent a clear signal that he shares our vision for public education - one that includes full, sustainable funding for schools and respects the voices of teachers and school employees," PFT president Jerry Jordan said in a statement last night.

The SRC has petitioned the state Supreme Court for permission to impose work-rule changes, which they say would save money. The proposed reforms would eliminate many seniority rules for teacher layoffs or transfers. The proposal would also kill the deadline for issuing layoff notices and relax minimum-staffing requirements for counselors.