In a decision that may well bankrupt the school district (once they sort out who's going to pay for it), 7000 former New Orleans teachers won in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today.
...an appeals court has decided that the School Board wrongly terminated more than 7,000 teachers after Hurricane Katrina. Those teachers were not given due process, and many teachers had the right to be rehired as jobs opened up in the first years after the storm, the court said in a unanimous opinion.The teachers were laid off after Hurricane Katrina as part of the massive reorganization of the school district, that resulted in a district today in which nearly all children attend charter schools. The court decision awards the teachers two to three years of back pay, an amount that lawyers said during the appeal could total $1.5 billion.
If you can listen, NPR's coverage is excellent, as they've interviewed Sarah Carr, who has been following New Orleans since Katrina (and wrote the book).
I think it's also important to remember that Secretary Duncan in 2010 commented that the hurricane was "the best thing to happen to the education system in New Orleans."