Minnesota Public Schools reached an agreement with its teachers' union to institute a policy that will discriminate against white teachers during layoffs, according to a report from Alpha News.
The agreement, which the union reached in March following a two-week strike, upends the seniority-based layoff system under which teachers who have been employed the least amount of time are the first to be fired. Under the new rules, if a minority teacher is set to be laid off, the district will instead fire the next least senior teacher who is white.
"If [laying off] 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," reads the agreement, which goes into effect next spring.
The justification for the racial discrimination is to "remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination," according to the school district.
Minnesota Public Schools' policy is the latest example of teachers' efforts to institute policies favoring minority teachers in hiring and compensation in order to achieve racial equity. Staff at New York City's elite Dalton School in 2020 demanded the administration pay off black faculty's student debt, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The Minnesota policy also favors minorities when the district reinstates teachers. "The District shall deprioritize the more senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population, in order to recall a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers," the agreement reads.
James Dickey, senior trial counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center, told Alpha News the policy is racially discriminatory and unconstitutional.
"The [collective bargaining agreement] … openly discriminates against white teachers based only on the color of their skin, and not their seniority or merit," Dickey said. "Minneapolis teachers and taxpayers who oppose government-sponsored racism like this should stand up against it."