Minneapolis public school teachers of color will receive additional job protections this coming school year under a new contract that would allow them to keep their jobs in favor of senior white teachers.
The intent of the labor agreement was to protect “underrepresented populations” and prevent the borough’s predominantly white staff from becoming more homogeneous, a report Monday said.
According to a June report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, about 60% of Minneapolis students are non-white, compared to 16% of the district’s tenured teachers and 27% of probationary teachers.
The agreement states that color teachers “may be exempted from district-wide firing[s] outside of the seniority rule,” according to the Minnesota edition of Alpha News, which released the contract’s terms on Sunday.
“Starting with the budget commitment cycle in Spring 2023 if it’s too much [reducing] a teacher who belongs to a demographic that is underrepresented among the licensed teachers in the location, the district will outperform the next lowest teacher who does not belong to an underrepresented demographic,” the agreement reads.
The agreement said that “past discrimination” had made the district’s teaching staff “underrepresented” in the community and “resulted in a lack of diversity among teachers,” the article said.
The teachers’ union and school district “mutually agreed” on the deal, a spokesman for Minneapolis Public Schools reportedly said.
A representative from the Upper Midwest Law Center told Alpha News the agreement was “unconstitutional.”
“That [collective bargaining agreement] …openly discriminates against white teachers based solely on the color of their skin and not on seniority or merit,” said James Dickey, senior trials counsel at UMLC.
“Minneapolis teachers and taxpayers who oppose such government-sponsored racism should take a stand.”
The deal was one of the first of its kind in the nation and a “major step forward for color teacher retention,” union leaders told The Star.
“It can be a national model and schools in other states are trying to emulate what we’ve been doing,” said Edward Barlow, a member of the board of directors of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.
The more than four dozen teachers who are expected to lose their jobs this fall primarily due to enrollment declines would not be affected by the affirmative action, the paper said.
https://nypost.com/2022/08/16/white-minnesota-teachers-would-be-laid-off-first-under-new-contract/ Minnesota white teachers would be fired first under new contract