By David Kelly
Article Source

Being a white school teacher with tenure in Minneapolis is no longer a position to envy,  as a recent agreement between the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers union and the school district states that white teachers will be laid off before any teachers of color, regardless of seniority.

The new contract, which goes into effect this school year, makes Minneapolis one of the only school districts in the country with this blatant discrimination towards white teachers. This came about as the union claimed schools need more instructors of color to help foster a teaching staff that better mirrors the demographics of the pupils they work with, as more than 60 percent are students of color. Currently, about 16 percent of the district’s tenured teachers and 27 percent of its probationary teachers are people of color, according to a June Minneapolis Star Tribune report.

The new contract language upends the traditional last-in, first-out hiring policies as a way to retain “members of populations underrepresented among licensed teachers.” Especially since those policies have protected more senior teachers, a higher percentage of whom are white.

“It can be a national model, and schools in other states are looking to emulate what we did,” said Edward Barlow, a band teacher at Anwatin Middle School and a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers executive board. “Even though it doesn’t do everything that we wanted it to do, it’s still a huge move forward for the retention of teachers of color.”

The contract agreement states that teachers of color “may be exempted from district-wide layoff[s] outside seniority order,” according to Alpha News, which published language from the contract Sunday.  The article claimed that “past discrimination” had made the district’s teaching staff “underrepresented” to the community “and resulted in a lack of diversity of teachers”.

This new policy of discrimination towards all white teachers violates both the Minnesota and U.S. Constitutions. “The [collective bargaining agreement] … openly discriminates against white teachers based only on the color of their skin, and not their seniority or merit,” James Dickey, senior trial counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center, told Alpha News. “Minneapolis teachers and taxpayers who oppose government-sponsored racism like this should stand up against it.”

Investigative journalist Christopher F. Rufo, who has worked to expose the evils of Critical Race Theory and discriminatory “woke” indoctrination in American schools, corporations, and institutions tweeted, “The Minneapolis teachers union has negotiated a contract in which the district will fire white teachers first. This is the inevitable endpoint of ‘equity”.

It is quite obvious that the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers union places no value in their own mission statement, which reads: “The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare, and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.”

To make matters worse Minnesota, like most states, is suffering from a teacher shortage. In Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) there are still 300 open positions across the board. A spokesperson with MPS told KARE 11, “Our current vacancy numbers fluctuate daily as we work to get fully staffed by the beginning of the school year.”

“Everyone is looking for staff, teachers, nurses — anyone that wants to come to work in school is a hot commodity,” said Kelly Wilson with Education Minnesota.

Also suffering from staffing issues, nearby Saint Paul Public Schools posted:

Education is no different than other industries going through staffing shortages. At Saint Paul Public Schools, we have added a recruitment and retention team that is being funded in part by the American Rescue Plan. In the last few weeks, we have hired more than 100 quality educators. Our highest needs continue to be in Special Education and English Language teachers.

The staffing problems will only get worse as this new discriminatory contract will keep white teachers from returning to work at MPS and force them to seek employment elsewhere if not leave the profession behind them forever.  This writer can only hope this racist policy is challenged and removed from the contract, bringing back the dignity and respect that teachers of all walks of life deserve.