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Open Letter to MPS supt. Peebles re: teacher realignments
Subj:      [Mpls] Open letter to MPS supt. Peebles re: teacher realignments
Date:     8/13/2004 11:55:19 AM Central Daylight Time

Ms. Peebles,

At the Board meeting on August 10, 2004, the district's general counsel, Mr.
Giles (I presume) stated that the reassignment / realignment of teachers was
an administrative decision, not a board decision. You are now the top
administrator. The board took no action to affirm or to overturn the realignment of 140
elementary teachers who hold multiple teaching licenses and have been
employed with the district for 5 to 35 years. That passes the buck to you, and also
leaves opens the door for you to act, in my opinion.

The MPS administration under David Jennings fired probationary teachers from
special Ed classrooms rather than from areas in order to create a pretext for
reassigning elementary teachers who are near the top of the seniority list and
pay scale. According to a press release dated August 10, 2004, 140 elementary
school teachers were "realigned" into other areas to create openings for 92
other tenured, elementary teachers. Such action is clearly not required by the
law, even by the district's own interpretation of the Teacher Tenure Act and
Stand decision.

The firing of some special education teachers also put the district at risk
of losing Medicaid funding, because some the teachers who were realigned to
special Ed classes cannot provide a safe environment for all of their students
and are replacing teachers that were equipped to do so.

Due to the illegal character of the realignment process I recommend that you
hire back all of the special Ed teachers and restore all of the realigned
elementary teachers to their positions. If there are some low-seniority, tenured
elementary teachers who will be without employment as a result of the
corrective action recommend in this letter, I propose that they be offered compensation
for lost wages, plus assistance to retrain for jobs in high needs areas so
they may be rehired by the 2005-2006 school year.  

-Doug Mann, King Field
Mann for School Board