According to The Chicago Tribune, theChicago Teachers Union filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday alleging that layoffs last summer targeted tenured African-American teachers who represent a third of the CPS teachers.
The complaints states that African-American teachers make up 29 percent of teachers in CPS, but comprised 43 percent of those laid off in 2011, which was about 1,000 teachers. While white teachers make up 47 percent of the district’s total, they represented only 36 percent of those laid off.
In addition, the union says, layoffs affected a disproportionately large percentage of teachers at schools with high numbers of low-income African-American students.
“(CPS) is illegally terminating and laying off African-American teachers who are highly qualified and excellent teachers,” said union attorney Robin Potter. “This is not a question. It is a systematic effort to rid the Chicago Public Schools of tenured teachers who are African-American.
“To make it right they have to stop these layoffs, they have to step back and they have to put these good teachers back in the schools.”
CPS officials declined to comment on the complaint.
The teachers union is embroiled in another lawsuit currently before the Illinois Supreme Court over the layoff of about 1,300 teachers, more than 60 percent of them tenured, in 2010. The teachers union has argued that the district broke state law in firing tenured teachers without due process. Both sides are awaiting the ruling.
View The Chicago Tribune article here.