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Teachers union challenges Buffalo's receivership

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 12:42:14-05

The Buffalo teachers union is challenging the superintendent's right to make changes at five persistently struggling schools under the state's receivership law.

The New York State United Teachers filed a lawsuit in Albany Tuesday on behalf of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. It seeks to strike down state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's November decision authorizing the Buffalo superintendent to make the changes.

A law passed last year gives superintendents receivership powers over persistently struggling schools, allowing them to lengthen school days and make personnel changes.

But the lawsuit says Elia's ruling violated the teachers' contract and that the commissioner ignored union suggestions for improving schools.

The suit names Elia, the state and Education Department, Buffalo's superintendent and its school board. A state spokesman said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.