Education Law §310 provides that persons considering themselves aggrieved by an action taken at a school district meeting or by school authorities may appeal to the Commissioner of Education for a review of such action. Teachers who have been recommended for Discontinuance of Probationary service in the DOE should look into filing one of these appeals. They are affordable (costing roughly $20) and do not require a lawyer.
Directions on how to file such an appeal can be found here: http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/instruction
There are 7 forms one needs to fill out in order to file an Ed Law 310 appeal: http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/forms
General information can be found here: http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/
Such an appeal can be filed as a class action suit. A group of discontinued teachers who received appeals at OAR in the same month and heard back from the DOE regarding the upholding of their discontinuance in the month of, say February, could file an Ed Law 310 appeal by March 1st.
The downside to this process is that the statute of limitations: You must serve your papers (see the regulations referenced here for rules on proper service) no more than thirty (30) days after the action you are challenging has taken place. For example, if you are challenging a decision by the board of education to suspend your child, you must bring your petition within 30 days of the board’s final determination to suspend. Appeals brought more than 30 days later will generally be dismissed by the Commissioner.