Black and Latino educators in New York who took the LAST exam and were denied employment, dismissed or demoted as a consequence between 1995 -2004 are eligible for back pay and benefits. The notice below was sent out to all those currently identified as eligible. It is estimated that between 8,000 -15,000 are eligible. The Gulino v BOE case was dragged out for 20 years by the BOE/DOE. If you know someone who might be eligible have them contact:
Settlement of the Gulino vs. NYCBOE case is one component of the Teacher Diversity Committee’s Petition to Increase Teacher Diversity in New York City. While this is good news, there is still much work to be done and it is not too late to sign the petition and call on the department to:
• Make a policy statement that acknowledges the value of teacher diversity and the lack of such diversity in New York City public schools.
• Centrally monitor the racial demographic of hiring and firing in NYC public and charter schools. In public school data reports include the racial profile for the teachers and administrators in each school as is currently done for the students.
• Raise the percentage of Black and Latino teachers hired in the system overall, with a special focus on raising the percentage of male teachers in those groups.
• Raise the percentage of persons of color in the NYC Teaching Fellows program to more closely match the NYC student body demographic. Make public the number and racial demographic of NYC Teaching Fellows hired.
• Settle Gulino vs. Board of Education, in which a recent court ruling found that the NY State LAST certification exam was not validated yet was used in 2002 to dismiss thousands of NYC teachers who were disproportionately Black and Latino.
• Invest in a clear and distinct paraprofessional-to-teacher career path that offers qualified applicants provisional teaching licenses while completing graduate degree requirements and subsidizes both undergraduate and graduate tuition at CUNY and SUNY
Details of the decision are below..
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
ELSA GULINO, MAYLING RALPH, PETER WILDS,
and NIA GREENE, on behalf of themselves and all others
– against -
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
96 Civ. 8414 (KMW)
NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF RULE 23(B)(3) CLASS ACTION
TO: All African-American and Latino individuals employed as New York City public
school teachers by the Board of Education of the City of New York on or after June
29, 1995, who failed to achieve a qualifying score on an administration of the
Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (“LAST”) given on or before February 13, 2004, and
as a result either lost or were denied a permanent teaching appointment.
1. Why did I receive this Notice?
The Court presiding over this lawsuit has determined that the LAST unlawfully
discriminates against African Americans and Latinos. As a result, the Court has found
that the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York (“BOE”)
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by requiring African-American and
Latino teachers who were employed by the BOE to pass the LAST as a condition of
retaining, or being appointed to, a full-time teaching position. You are receiving this
Notice because records from the BOE and the New York State Education Department
(“SED”) indicate that you may be a member of the class in this case certified under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) (the “Class”) and your rights may be affected by
the pending litigation.
2. Who is included in the Class?
The Class is defined as follows: All African-American and Latino individuals employed
as New York City public school teachers by Defendant, on or after June 29, 1995, who
failed to achieve a qualifying score on an administration of the LAST-1 given on or 2
before February 13, 2004, and as a result either lost or were denied a permanent teaching
3. What claims have been made?
The Complaint alleges that the BOE violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by
(1) conditioning the receipt of a regular license and permanent teaching appointment on
obtaining a passing score on the LAST, and/or (2) demoting those who had obtained a
regular license but failed to pass the LAST as part of obtaining maximum requirements
for the license. The Complaint seeks damages that include back pay, unpaid benefits,
restoration of seniority, and pension credits.
4. Do I need to do anything?
You have three options:
Option 1) If you wish to remain in the Class, there is nothing for you to do at this
time. You will be bound by any judgment or order the Court may enter, whether it is
favorable or unfavorable. If there is a monetary settlement or recovery for plaintiffs, you
may be entitled to receive a portion of the proceeds of that settlement or recovery. If
there is ultimately no recovery, you will not be able to pursue a lawsuit on your own
against the BOE regarding the same issues in this lawsuit. You do not lose the right to
pursue any action against the BOE for any issues unrelated to those involved in this case.
If you remain in the Class, you will be represented by the attorneys for the Class.
Continue to watch for additional notices that you will receive about this litigation and
respond to them promptly. Additional information will be needed for you to recover any
Option 2) You may remain in the Class, but retain separate counsel. It is your
right to be represented by counsel of your choosing. At this time you are represented by
the Class counsel, indicated below. If you retain separate counsel, you and your separate
counsel will be responsible for pursuing any recovery you are entitled to in this action.
Option 3) You may exclude yourself from the Class and pursue a claim for the
individual relief that has been asserted on your behalf in this case on your own. If you
withdraw from the Class, you will not be represented by Class counsel in your claim for
monetary relief. If you withdraw from the Class, you will remain part of a previously-3
certified class for purposes of classwide injunctive relief. Details concerning how to be
excluded from the Class are listed below.
5. If I currently am employed by the BOE, can the BOE fire me or take other action against
me if I participate in this case?
No. The law prohibits the BOE from firing or otherwise discriminating against any
employee for participating in this case.
6. What if I do not want to be a part of the Class?
You have the right to be excluded from this Class. If you would like to exclude yourself,
you must send a written request stating that you want to be excluded from Gulino v.
Board of Education to:
Gulino v. Board of Education
PO Box 9000 #6543
Merrick, NY 11566-9000
The request for exclusion must include your name, address, be signed by you, and be
postmarked no later than September 15, 2014. You may not exclude yourself by
telephone or email.
If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to share in any monetary
settlement or recovery that may be obtained on behalf of the Class, but you may pursue a
lawsuit on your own involving the same issues in this lawsuit relating to possible
entitlement to individual relief. The time to pursue your monetary claims if you
withdraw from the Class is limited. Do not wait to retain separate counsel or pursue your
claims after you withdraw from the Class.
7. Who are the attorneys representing the Class?
The Class is represented by the following attorneys:
Joshua S. Sohn, Esq.
DLA Piper LLP (US)
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Joel Hellman, Esq.
155 North Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Baher Azmy, Esq.
Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, Seventh Floor
New York, New York 10012
8. Who is the Class representative?
The Class Representative is Peter Wilds.4
9. What happens next?
In the near future, you will receive a claim form that will be mailed by a third-party
claims administrator. If you wish to make a claim for monetary or other relief (such as
restoration of in-system seniority), you must complete and return the claim form. You
are free, and encouraged, to contact plaintiffs’ counsel at no cost for assistance in the
claims process. You may be entitled to collect the value of lost salary and benefits you
would have earned as a regularly-licensed teacher after you did not pass the LAST. The
law requires that any monetary damages an individual plaintiff is entitled to receive must
be off-set by other income that was earned or which, in certain circumstances, could have
been earned after the plaintiff was discriminated against. A plaintiff may also be required
to provide documents, certain information, and appear for one or more hearings to
establish his or her claim.
10. You are encouraged to contact The Garden City Group, Inc. for additional information or
to provide contact information.
The plaintiffs’ counsel would like to gather contact information for all potential class
members and encourages you to contact The Garden City Group, Inc. at the address
below. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT THE GARDEN CITY GROUP, INC. AT
THIS TIME TO REMAIN IN THE CLASS. CONTACTING THE GARDEN CITY
GROUP, INC. AT THIS TIME IS OPTIONAL AND IS AT NO COST TO YOU. If you
would like to provide your contact information, have questions about the case, or would
like to obtain additional information, please contact The Garden City Group, Inc. at:
Gulino v. Board of Education
PO Box 9000 #6543
Merrick, NY 11566-9000
(844) 322-8233 http://www.gulinolitigation.com
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK’S OFFICE TO OBTAIN ANY
INFORMATION OR ADVICE.