Nearly half a year since Hurricane Katrina struck, just three of New Orleans' 115 public schools are now in operation, yet 7,500 employees remain on the payroll, much to the frustration of the board of education. Not for much longer, however; an Orleans Parish judge ruled that the school district must provide employees with at least 30 days' written notice.
The school board first approved the terminations early in December, but plaintiffs' attorney Willie Zanders contested the decision because the board did not give workers the 60-day formal notice the teachers' contract requires. The school district had posted the termination announcement on the district's website and sent out a press release. But for the dispersed teachers of New Orleans, this was not enough, according to a ruling by District Court Judge Ethel Simms Julien. Instead the district should have sent letters to each employee.
With teachers from scattered from Kalamazoo to Alaska, we wish New Orleans Parish luck in tracking down the addresses of all the hotels and trailer parks where these teachers are now residing.