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Commonwealth Court Reviews Legality Of Philadelphia School District's Termination Of Teachers' Contract

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Attorneys for the Philadelphia School District have asked a Commonwealth Court panel to affirm the District's authority to cancel its teachers contract.

It is a case with huge implications. Attorneys for the School District argued that the state takeover law gave the Philadelphia School Reform Commission special powers to impose contract terms. In a statement, the district says its October action forcing teachers to begin paying part of their health care costs helped to put $15 million back into classrooms. But Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan doesn't see it that way.

"We do not believe that the law grants the School Reform Commission the authority to impose a contract," Jordan says.

A lower court has put the health care changes on hold while the legal battle plays out.

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