From The Washington Post: A judge has upheld Washington, D.C., School Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's decision to lay off 266 public school teachers and other educators to close a budget gap. The judge rejected union arguments that Rhee contrived financial problems to rid the system of older instructors. The union sued five days after the layoffs, branding them an illegal mass firing and calling for the teachers to be reinstated.
OCTOBER 2009...from The Washington Post: Playing hardball is the only way Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee can maintain a viable-sized school district that has dwindled to a mere 44,000 students, while the city's charter school population is expected to grow to 28,000 this year.
Earlier...from The Washington Post: The teachers union in Washington, D.C., is suing to block last week's teacher layoffs. It contends Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and public school principals targeted educators on the basis of age or their willingness to speak out against administrators.
SIDEBAR: Despite layoff rules designed to help the system retain high-performing teachers, workers who were let go range from idealistic Teach for America newcomers to a 32-year guidance counselor who is praised by parents as uncommonly effective.
Earlier...from The Washington Post: The Washington, D.C., public schools system has laid off 388 school employees, including more than 200 teachers. In addition, it is coping with the abrupt loss of its 300 security guards, whose company went out of business last week. The layoffs were the deepest cuts for the school system since 2003.