(RightIsRight.co) – An agreement between school districts and a teachers union in Minneapolis, Minnesota, states that white teachers would be the first ones to be laid off regardless of their level of seniority, a report reveals.
Fox News reported that the deal was reached between the school districts in the city and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers union.
The agreement was made to end a teacher strike that lasted for two weeks.
It stipulates that as of the start of the 2022/2023 school year, white teachers would be made redundant before teachers of color, exempting the latter from seniority-based layoffs, which may be necessitated by a drop in funding, enrollment numbers, or other reasons.
“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,” states the deal.
The agreement also makes it clear that white teachers would be the last to be considered when teachers are reinstated.
“The District shall prioritize the recall of a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the district,” the document reads.
The new policy is supposed to make up for “past discrimination” by the district, which “disproportionately impacted the hiring of underrepresented teachers in the District, as compared to the relevant labor market and the community, and resulted in a lack of diversity of teachers.”
“Students need educators who look like them and who they can relate to. This language gives us the ability to identify and address issues that contribute to disproportionately high turnover of educators of color,” the agreement states further.
A report by The Star Tribune quotes Edward Barlow from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers executive board as saying that the deal could be a “national model” for retaining teachers of color.
The agreement does stipulate that the policy will not be in effect when the diversity of teachers in the district represents the makeup of the community and labor market.
“To remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers mutually agreed to contract language that aims to support the recruitment and retention of teachers from underrepresented groups as compared to the labor market and to the community served by the school district,” a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Public Schools told Fox News.