DETROIT — The Detroit teachers union claims in a new lawsuit that it should have played a bigger role in assigning teachers to the district's worst schools this year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers claims in the suit that district officials violated the teachers' contract by not collaborating more with the union on interviewing and hiring educators for 51 low-performing schools, DFT President Keith Johnson told the Free Press.

The union has asked for a restraining order that would effectively allow about 40 teachers to return to work at the same schools where they taught last year, the Press reported.

Johnson called the district's hiring process for priority schools "arbitrary and capricious," while DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said, "We're moving forward ... so that high-quality teaching and learning can take place at every school on day one."

The lawsuit also could affect the placement of new teachers DPS is hiring through the Teach for America program, Johnson told the Free Press.

Detroit Free Press, "Union sues over teacher hiring at 51 DPS schools," Sept. 1, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Union Spending in Michigan: A Review of Union Financial Disclosure Reports," Aug. 28, 2008