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Demand action from the School Board
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

Subj:      [Mpls] School board action re teacher layoffs & realignment
Date:     7/11/2004 7:28:31 AM Central Daylight Time
From: (Doug Mann)

"Power concedes nothing without a demand" - Frederick Douglass (or someone else?)

In my opinion it is very important to ask the board to take specific, corrective action related to excessive teacher layoffs & realignments at the July 13 school board meeting. There is a possibility that the board will do the right thing. And the sooner the board does it the better. Otherwise, organizers of the rally / press conference will have to take further steps before the next regularly scheduled board meeting in order to compel the board to do the right thing.

The resolution I have proposed asks the board to rescind the layoffs and realignments, to follow the proper steps in excessing, filling job openings, and then, as a last resort, doing some "realignments." It is "further resolved" that teachers in areas of need with more than one year of experience in their current job NOT be replaced by more senior teachers who do not have at least one year of experience within the past 5 years doing the same type of work. The resolution can be viewed at

The Strand Doctrine requires the district to make a reasonable effort to see that the least senior teachers are laid off when a workforce reduction is necessary.  And the preamble of the teachers contract has language about how the strategic goals of the district should be advanced and not be set back by the contract's application.  The district's strategic goals: improve the academic performance
of the students and to close the learning gap between students.

Realigning some of the most senior teachers into other jobs should be a last resort, and the interests of the students should be taken into consideration when deciding how far to go to avoid the layoff of "excessed" teachers who are higher up the seniority list than teachers holding jobs in areas of need.

To paraphrase Malcolm X: Power does not take a step back in the face of a prayer, a reasoned argument, or a loving nonviolent action. It is not in the nature of power to take a step back in the face of anything but greater power. And the power of a struggle for freedom is greater than the power of tyranny, because the power of a just cause is based on conviction and leads to resolute and uncompromising action.

-Doug Mann, King Field