A group representing at least some of the 266 District educators laid off on Oct. 2 is asking the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) for $250,000 to finance appeals of their cases.
A D.C. Superior Court judge last week upheld Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's decision to close a budget gap by eliminating their jobs. Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled that WTU attorneys failed to prove their contention that the budget issues were a sham and a pretext for an illegal mass firing.
The group, calling itself Wrongfully Terminated District of Columbia Public School Stakeholders, said in a statement that the WTU legal team headed by Lee Jackson "performed poorly" at the Nov. 5 hearing.
"The plaintiff's WTU attorneys failed to challenge any unlawful Reduction In Force (RIF) decision and the procedures and process used to implement the alleged RIF," the group said, adding that attorneys "did not present any substantive challenge to the DCPS (defendant's) testimony or to Rhee's declaration with regard to the school budget."
The laid off teachers asked WTU president George Parker and union officers for the $250,000 to fund legal representation in their appeals to the District's Office of Employee Appeals and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Parker did not return phone calls seeking comment.