Teacher's Contract In Minneapolis Calls For Laying Off White Teachers First

Teacher's Contract In Minneapolis Calls For Laying Off White Teachers First

A reported new teacher’s contract for Minneapolis public schools appears to be blatantly racist on its face and, if enacted, will no doubt set up the district for a massive lawsuit that it should lose.

According to The College Fix, which cited an Alpha News report, the teacher’s union contract states that white teachers are to be laid off or reassigned first before any educators of color can be let go or moved around.

Furthermore, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune added that the “seniority-disrupting language” in the contract is very uncommon among school districts around the country, while at least one constitutional law attorney has claimed that the contract’s provision violates both the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Alpha News noted:

After the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and MPS struck a deal on March 25 to end a 14-day teacher strike, the two sides drew up and ratified a new collective bargaining agreement complete with various proposals.

One of the proposals dealt with “educators of color protections.” The agreement states that if a non-white teacher is subject to excess, MPS must excess a white teacher with the “next least” seniority.

“Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population,” says the proviso.

Naturally, supporters of the provision are defending it as a way to ‘retain’ teachers of color.

“It can be a national model, and schools in other states are looking to emulate what we did,” Edward Barlow, a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers executive board, told the Star Tribune, according to The College Fix. “Even though it doesn’t do everything that we wanted it to do, it’s still a huge move forward for the retention of teachers of color.”

But Hans Bader, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney familiar with such cases, said it’s patently unconstitutional, regardless of intention.

“It is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. When it comes to termination (as opposed to hiring or promotion under an affirmative-action plan), an employer can’t racially discriminate even against whites,” he writes.

“The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1996 that an [sic] school district can’t consider race even as a tie-breaker, in deciding who to lay off, even to promote diversity, because that (a) unduly trammels the white teacher’s rights — even affirmative action plans are supposed to be mild and not unduly trammel someone’s rights, and getting fired as opposed to being denied a promotion unduly trammels someone’s rights — and (b) putting that aside, the school district couldn’t consider race to promote diversity when black people weren’t seriously underrepresented in its workforce as a whole,” he added. “That ruling was Taxman v. Board of Education of Piscataway, 91 F.3d 1547 (3d Cir. 1996).”

“It is also unconstitutional, for more complicated reasons, under the Supreme Court’s decision in Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education (1986),” Bader continued. “In that case, the Supreme Court overturned race-based layoffs by a 5-to-4 vote.

“Five justices said a school district can’t lay off white teachers to remedy societal discrimination against blacks. Four of those five also said that the Constitution forbids laying off people based on race (as opposed to considering race in hiring and promotions) even to remedy a school district’s own discrimination,” he said.

The Democrat-voting left continues to demonstrate how they will govern — unconstitutionally — if they are ever fully in charge.


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