Philadelphia-area teachers reach accord over back pay

3 say they weren't paid after layoffs

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A for-profit Philadelphia education firm whose records recently were subpoenaed by federal authorities has settled a lawsuit with three former teachers.

Documents filed in court last week said the instructors who had been laid off by Delaware Valley High School had reached a settlement with that embattled company, which runs alternative-education programs for school districts in the area.

In a suit filed in the Court of Common Pleas in March, the three said they were owed nearly $20,000 in back wages for their work at Delaware Valley's former disciplinary school on Kelly Drive during the 2010-11 academic year.

Documents announcing the settlement did not provide details. Attorney Robert H. Graff, who represented the teachers, declined to comment.

David T. Shulick, a lawyer who runs Delaware Valley, did not respond to requests for comment last week.

The school's contracts call for teachers to be paid over 12 months for work they perform during the 10-month academic year.

The trio alleged they had not received their remaining paychecks after they were laid off in summer 2011.

A similar suit, filed in July, is pending. In that case, a teacher who was laid off from Delaware Valley's former site in Southwest Philadelphia in January claimed the school had breached her contract and owed her $5,100 in back pay.

In July, Delaware Valley laid off more than 50 teachers and administrators at its four sites in the region.

The staffers said Mr. Shulick's firm owed them thousands of dollars from the last academic year.

In August, the Philadelphia School District announced it would no longer contract with Delaware Valley to operate the two sites in the city: a disciplinary school for 300 students on Kelly Drive and a program in Southwest Philadelphia for 200 students at risk of dropping out of school.

Federal authorities are investigating whether Delaware Valley's ties with Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr., son of the Democratic Pennsylvania congressman, played a role in contracts with district.

Delaware Valley still operates schools in Bucks County and Reading.

legalnews

Martha Woodall: martha.woodallphillynews.com or 215-854-2789.


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