Three-and-a-half years after a Pennsylvania school closesshed, the three-year old school in Lincoln Elementary School, just across the river from Pittsburgh, is still closed, and the principal is being sued.
According to court documents obtained by FourFourtwo, the school’s principal, Dr. John L. Czarnowski, and his wife, Melissa, are seeking to permanently shut the school down, saying the closure violated state and federal laws regarding the education of students.
Lincoln has one teacher, four students, and six staff members, according to a press release from the school district.
LZ is a former police officer.
Liz Linn is the school resource officer.
In addition to Czurnowski, his wife Melissa and his two children are seeking unspecified damages.
According the press release, Linn, who works for the city of Lincoln, “has no teaching experience and does not have any teaching experience at Lincoln Elementary.”
He also has “no qualifications to teach the subject of mathematics.”
The district did not respond to a request for comment.
The district, which has more than 500 students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, has been struggling with funding cuts, according the district’s website.
Its budget was cut nearly in half in the past two years, according.
In the last two years alone, the district lost nearly $5.2 million, according district documents.
Czurniewicz was hired by the district in February 2011.
The school’s superintendent, Mary D’Alelio, has since left to become the district superintendent of schools, according records.
District documents filed with the court indicate that Czawrnowski was hired on the recommendation of the state Department of Education.
She has been on the job for three years, but was not reappointed.
Linn has been with the school since September 2016.
She began working as a teacher in October of last year, the release said.
Linn said in a statement that she is grateful for the school, its staff and the teachers who support them.
The press release noted that Czonowski is a member of the Lincoln Teachers Association.
The union’s president, Daphne Schonfeld, said she is a proud member of her local school district.
“Lincoln’s principals are the best teachers in the world,” she said in the statement.
“Their dedication to their students and their community is unmatched.
Liz and I have never seen anything like it.”
The Czonowsks were listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed on April 29 by attorney Patrick D. O’Malley.
The complaint, filed in Allegheny County Circuit Court, alleges that the principal and his spouse are “not qualified to hold a position of public trust.”
In the complaint, the attorneys for the Czonowks contend that the school closed because it did not have the money to pay the principal’s $25,000 salary, and that the Czorns were not qualified to supervise the school due to a disability.
The principals’ lawsuit also alleges that Linn has not taught in the district since October 2016.
The case is pending in Allegoria County District Court.