Minneapolis Public Schools was sued Tuesday over a clause in its teachers contract that calls for laying off white teachers first.
The contract was agreed to by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the school district at the conclusion of a three-week teachers strike in March. The Minneapolis Board of Education approved the new contract in May.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the school district, its superintendent, and the Board of Education on behalf of taxpayer Deborah Jane Clapp. The lawsuit claims that article 15 of the contract, which provides “protections for educators of color,” violates the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution.
“There is no similar provision covering educators who are not ‘of color,’” the lawsuit says. “Under the contract, teachers of color are exempt from Defendant MPS’s seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not ‘of color’ would be laid off or reassigned. In addition, the contract mandates that Defendants reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not ‘of color.'”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the “racial and ethnic preference provisions” of the contract illegal and prevent the district from taking any action to implement the provisions.
“It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The courts can’t move soon enough to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under law on account of race.”
The school district is currently down 250 teachers, but the lawsuit cites a former superintendent who said they would need to layoff or reassign 220 teachers by 2027, according to The Center Square.
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers President Greta Callahan defended the contract, saying it “doesn’t go far enough.”
“So this contract language was something that, first of all, we are extremely proud of for achieving but it also doesn’t go far enough,” she said. “We need to support and retain our educators, especially those who are underrepresented, and this language does one tiny, miniscule step towards that but doesn’t solve the real crisis we’re in.”