Alpha News obtained a new contract that says if MPS needs to reduce staff, they will lay off white teachers ahead of ‘educators of color.’
Yes, that’s correct. If the district needs to reduce in size after this policy is implemented, it will be white teachers who are first fired. The “educators of color protections” component of the contract specifies that if a non-white teacher gets laid off, MPS must lay off a white educator with the “next least” seniority instead.
According to the agreement, beginning in the Spring of 2023 budget tie-out cycle, if a educator who is part of an underrepresented group among the licensed teachers at the site needs to be excessed, then the next least senior teacher will be chosen instead, provided they are not part of an underrepresented group.
The agreement says that non-white teachers might not have to be laid off as much as other people, and if they are laid off, they will have priority when it comes time to be rehired.
The contract adds that teachers that work at schools that are “racially isolated with high concentrations of poverty” will be protected from layoffs.
The goal of this policy is to correct the district’s former issues with racial discrimination.
The contract explains that in the past, discrimination by the District resulted in hiring fewer underrepresented teachers as compared to available labor and community demographics, which then led to a lack of diversity among teachers.
A constitutional lawyer, Hans Bader, has penned an op-ed in which he contends that the measure is unconstitutional.
The teachers’ union, however, is doubling down on its racist stance. A member of the MFT’s executive board, Edward Barlow, told the Star Tribune that the policy “has the potential to be a national model” and that it is “a significant step toward retaining teachers of color.”
The district may face costly legal battles if it attempts to implement this policy. It seems to be a clear violation of the civil rights law. This is part of a wider pattern of discriminatory behavior by school systems. Many schools have implemented “racial affinity groups,” which are intended to promote racial segregation. Even NY Mayor Eric Adams has been criticized for asking potential city employees to submit photographs in order to increase diversity.