Wed, Aug 24, 2022 10:41 AM
By Scott McClallen, The Center Square
Minneapolis Public Schools is being sued after its teacher's union contract made national news by prioritizing layoffs by race and not seniority.
The nonprofit Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education that alleges the violation of the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution.
“It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “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 controversial contract was agreed to in March 2022 to end a 14-day teacher strike affecting 29,000 students. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers ratified the agreement shortly, and The Minneapolis Board of Education approved it in May.
The lawsuit says the new contract protects educators of color but provides no similar protection for educators who aren’t “of color.”
Under the contract, MPS teachers of color are exempt from seniority-based layoffs and reassignments. When firings or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not “of color” would be laid off or reassigned. The contract mandates that MPS reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not “of color.”
The lawsuit says teachers were previously laid off or reassigned by seniority, regardless of race or ethnicity.
The complaint claims this is a violation of Minnesota’s Equal Protection Guarantee, which says that “no member of this state shall be disenfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.”
The lawsuit cites a former MPS superintendent who says the district must lay off or reassign approximately 220 teachers between 2022 and 2027. The complaint asks the court to declare illegal all actions taken to implement the racial preference provisions of Article 15.
Judicial Watch is joined by Daniel N. Rosen of Rosen LLC in Minneapolis. Deborah Jane Clapp, a Minnesota taxpayer, is the plaintiff.