Minneapolis Public Schools under fire for favoring Black teachers
Lindsey West, a fifth-grade teacher at Clara Barton Community School in Minneapolis who identifies as Black and Indigenous, poses at her home in suburban Minneapolis on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. A dispute has arisen over language in the new Minneapolis teachers contract that’s meant to protect teachers of color from layoffs. West said the seniority language is one piece of a bigger mission of improving education. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
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As students are preparing to return to school all across the nation, teachers in Minneapolis Public Schools are in a black versus white battle for their jobs.

In a collective bargaining agreement made between the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the Minneapolis School Board, contractual terms insinuate that if layoffs were to occur, white teachers would be let go from their jobs before Black teachers, regardless of seniority. 

While Minneapolis has one of the more diverse school districts in the state, the student demographics do not match the educator demographics. Currently, children of color makeup over 60 percent of the Minneapolis Public Schools student body while the teaching force stands at 18 percent people of color. So the decision was derived in an attempt to diversify the district’s teaching workforce.

Minneapolis Public Schools under fire

CBS Minnesota reported: 

In a challenge to positions taken by conservative media outlet Fox News, Michael Harriot wrote in The Grio that firing white teachers is a great idea.

In contrast, others believe hiring decisions at Minneapolis Public Schools shouldn’t be based on the color of people’s skin.

Employment and labor attorney, Helen Rella, said, “It’s trying to remedy past discrimination with present discrimination, and it’s inappropriate”.

Heritage Foundation fellow, Jonathan Butcher, asserts this is a violation of white teachers’ civil rights. “This is, I think, political posturing. It is not dealing with the most important issue which is helping students right now with math and reading.”

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