APRIL 23, 2015
New York Times
Leadership team meetings at New York City public schools must be open to the general public, a Manhattan judge said in a ruling filed on Thursday.
Every public school in the city is required to have a School Leadership Team, made up of a mix of faculty and parents, including the principal and the chapter leader of the teachers’ union. Michael Thomas, a retired teacher, sued the city’s Education Department after he was not permitted to attend a leadership team meeting on Staten Island last year. He was joined in the suit by Letitia James, the public advocate, and Class Size Matters, a nonprofit organization.
The city argued that the meetings were not required to be public because the teams were advisory bodies only.
Justice Peter H. Moulton of State Supreme Court did not agree. “The proper functioning of public schools is a public concern,” he wrote in the decision, “not a private concern limited to the families who attend a given public school.”
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said it was reviewing the decision with the Education Department “to determine next steps.”
A version of this article appears in print on April 24, 2015, on page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: School Meetings Deemed Public.