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Poughkeepsie School Board, Superintendent Square Off In Legal Dispute

The Poughkeepsie City School District superintendent is battling with the school board over teacher transfers.
The Poughkeepsie City School District superintendent is battling with the school board over teacher transfers. Photo Credit: Contributed

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The superintendent of the Poughkeepsie City School District and the board of education are facing off over teacher transfers

Nicole Williams, the superintendent, has disputed a board vote that placed a moratorium on involuntary teacher and administrator transfers for the 2017-2018 school year. Williams attempted to transfer two teachers, who she said did not comply with her orders, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Williams filed a complaint with the state Education Department commissioner against the board and the teachers, claiming they violated education law and her contract. An attorney for the school board said the transfers were done for retaliatory reasons, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Howard Miller, the attorney for the school board and the teachers, said Williams submitted a false statement and manufactured evidence as part of her appeal. Williams' attorney denies the allegations, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Williams and the school board have also disputed whether Williams made her transfer requests to the school board. The board passed its teacher moratorium in July.

The two teachers were transferred from teaching 4th graders in elementary school to 6th graders in middle school. One teacher claimed they had never taught middle school while the other said they had never taught the course they were assigned. Both teachers said they were given little time to prepare. Williams said the teachers are K-6 certified, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal .

On Sept. 1, the board directed the teachers to stay at their schools but days later, they were ordered to report to the middle school by Williams, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

One of the teachers was suspended on Sept. 13, though his suspension was rescinded the next day by the school board, prompting Williams to file her appeal, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

To read the Poughkeepsie Journal story, click here .

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