David H. Pittinsky represents the Philadelphia School Reform Commission in the SRC’s state Supreme Court appeal of a Commonwealth Court ruling that the commission lacked proper authority when it voted in October 2014 to alter health-care benefits for teachers and other school employees.

Mr. Pittinsky told the state Supreme Court during a hearing that the commission has at its disposal "an arsenal of rights that were given by the General Assembly" to reduce expenses, to ensure that students in the city's public schools have the resources for an "adequate" education. He spent much of his 35 minutes before the court reviewing public school laws enacted over several decades.

Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor asked Mr. Pittinsky if the teachers would have any rights if the contract were canceled. Mr. Pittinsky said that under a tenure law that predates collective bargaining for school employees, teachers have some rights, including protection from being fired without cause.

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