()

The current teacher tenure, seniority and dismissal rules in New York state are preventing schools from delivering on the promise set by the state Constitution that all students are to receive a “sound, basic” education, a group contended in a suit filed Monday.

The suit, Wright v. State of New York, was brought in Albany Supreme Court by the Partnership for Educational Justice and seven families with school-age children, five in New York City and two in Rochester.

The Partnership for Educational Justice was formed by Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor who lives in New York. Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner Jay Lefkowitz and Devora Allon, a litigation associate at the firm, are representing the plaintiffs pro bono in the Partnership for Educational Justice action.

The suit is the second filed this month challenging tenure, layoff and teacher discipline procedures in New York state.

The other, Davids v. State of New York, 101105/14, was brought on July 3 in Staten Island Supreme Court by the New York City Parents Union, an education reform group, and makes many of the same arguments against the failings of teacher tenure and discipline as the action filed Monday does.

The plaintiffs in both cases say they were encouraged to bring their actions by the success of a similar challenge to California’s teacher tenure law, which was struck down in June by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge as being ineffective at rooting out unqualified teachers (NYLJ, July 28).