A GROUP OF longtime educators and school advocates is taking Bill Green to court.
The education advocacy group Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools filed a lawsuit yesterday in Common Pleas Court alleging that Green, as chairman of the School Reform Commission, and the rest of the body, violated the "letter and the spirit" of the state's Sunshine Law during its Oct. 6 meeting when it voted to unilaterally cancel a contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
The complaint claims the SRC broke the law by not allowing public comment before it voted, discussing the matter in secret and deliberately concealing the agenda for the meeting, which lasted just 17 minutes. It further states that the violation "follows a long pattern and practice" by the SRC where most real debate and decisions take place privately and are merely "rubber-stamped" in public.
The district is also named in the suit as a defendant, and APPS co-founder and retired teacher Lisa Haver is listed as a plaintiff. The suit asks the court to declare the Oct. 6 action illegal and to stop the SRC from continuing the practice.
The law states that an agency must provide 24 hours notice in advance of a special meeting. The SRC did place an ad the day before in the Inquirer.
The SRC's action would have forced PFT members to begin paying for health-care benefits next month, but subsequent court filings by the district and the union have delayed the decision.
A district spokesman said yesterday that it does not comment on pending litigation. Green previously said the SRC complied with the law, calling the lawsuit "a waste of time and money, and another distraction the district does not need."