No role for state agency in teacher layoffs, appeals court rules

LANSING (AP) - The Michigan appeals court says a state commission has no authority to intervene in teacher layoffs, a key ruling four years after lawmakers diluted the power of unions.

The 3-0 decision released last Friday is a major test of a 2011 law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. It makes performance, not seniority, the factor for layoffs. The appeals court calls it a "dramatic shift" and a "massive redistribution of power."

Writing for the court, conservative Judge Henry Saad says the State Tenure Commission staffed with Democratic appointees "brazenly" ignored the law in 2012 and 2013. The court says an administrative agency can't step into a dispute over teacher layoffs.

The court ruled in cases from the Perry, Reed City and Flint school districts.

Published: Tue, Mar 17, 2015