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Teacher layoffs & realignment
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

Also see:  Layoffs, realignments, and the 2004-2005 budget

Teacher realignment was a politically expedient (& illegal) option
Reply to a widely published editorial by Board members Johnson and Erickson
by Doug Mann, 11 September 2004

I accuse the Minneapolis School board of crimes & cover-ups
by Doug Mann, 28 August 2004

The Minneapolis School District violated the MN Teacher Tenure Act,
**Excessive layoffs - "...The board may place on unrequested leave of absence,
without pay or fringe benefits, as many teachers as may be necessary because
of discontinuance of position, lack of pupils, financial limitations, or merger of
classes caused by consolidation of districts..." MN Teacher Tenure Act, 122A.40
Sub. 11 - The district laid off 608 teachers, cut fewer than 210 full time positions

**The district laid off teachers before determining which teachers would
probably be rehired if laid off.  The district should have 1) given proper notice
to teachers whose positions are likely to be "excessed" (eliminated) due to
decreased student enrollment, 2) given those teachers an opportunity to
bid for open positions, and 3) realigned teachers as necessary before placing
any teachers on unrequested leaves of abscence last spring and during the
last week of June 2004.

**Tenured teachers were realigned into positions without their consent in
order to preserve the employment of probationary teachers in some areas
at the expense of teachers in other areas. The union leadership blocked
formal grievances over this issue. In order to challenge the realignment process,
teachers would have to sue teachers union officers as well as the school
board and administration.

How many probationary teachers in K-3, 4-6 positions?
[Mpls] Request for release of information per MN data practices act
by Doug Mann, 01 September 2004

MPS administration estimates 3,000 fewer students than last year
The 2004-2005 budget is based on estimate of 4,600 fewer students
than last year. The reassignment of 140 tenured teachers from elementary
classrooms made it possible to rehire all of the probationary teachers assigned
to elementary grade classrooms last year. The district says those reassignments
were done to save the jobs of tenured teachers.
by Doug Mann, 01 September 2004

Student enrollment & accounting gimmicks
There were fewer actual students than budgeted students in the fall of  2003,
according to Strib education beat writer Steve Brandt. How many actual
teachers? How many actual teacher positions were cut at the end of the
2003-2004 school year?
by Doug Mann, 03 September 2004, (from mpls issue list)

Re: School enrollment & accounting gimmicks
Why is school enrollment falling? what can be done about it?
By Doug Mann, 04 September 2004 (from mpls issues list)

Re: Teacher placement in MPS schools
by Doug Mann, 05 September 2004 (mpls issues list discussion)

Excessive Layoffs contribute to high teacher turnover
What can be done to reduce overexposure of students to inexperienced teachers?
by Doug Mann, 24 August 2004

Teacher reshuffling could have been challenged by teachers
It may not be too late for some teachers to act
by Doug Mann, 22 August 2004 (from mpls issues list)

A Group of realigned teachers hired a lawyer to seek a Court review
of the realignments, but not to actually sue the district.  The district
is not being accused of violating the teachers' contract or the law.
     A group of realigned teachers hired labor lawyer Gregg Corwin, who agreed
to represent them on the condition that he would not allege any violations of
the Teacher Tenure Act, that he would not actually sue the district or the
union, and that he would not try to have this non-lawsuit certified as a class
action lawsuit.  Corwin's proposal: Ask an appellate Court to review district's
realignment plan and give an opinion about the need and reasonableness of the plan.
Corwin acknowledged a conflict of interest before taking money from the realigned
teachers: Corwin works for another union that represents school employees, and
other unions. It would be bad for Corwin's labor law business to step on the toes
of teacher union officers and "labor endorsed" school board members.

The board wants the MN legislature to "reform" the Teacher Tenure Act
so the district will have "greater flexibility" to hire and fire teachers.
    Board members portray the district as a victim of the MN Teacher Tenure Act.
Board members falsely claim they had to reassign many of the district's teachers
to save the jobs of some tenured teachers. The board was actually trying to
preserve the employment of probationary teachers in elementary grades by shifting
layoffs to other areas (which the district in NOT obligated to do under the
Teacher Tenure Act).  
     "No Child Left Behind" requires school districts to negotiate changes in
teacher contracts that will give the school administration "greater flexibility"
to hire and fire teachers. The same thing could be accomplished by shutting
down district-run schools and reopening them as [nonunion] charter schools,
which was part of the long-term reorganization plan proposed by former
superintendent David Jennings.    

Number of Teacher Positions since 2001-2002
Regular K-12 & Special Ed (MPS data)
by Doug Mann, 24 August 2004

MPS Update on Teacher Realignment Process
Press release, 10 Aug. 2004, Minneapolis Public Schools
Comment by Doug Mann: Again, district officials say the MPS budget
for 2004-2005 called for "the reduction of more than 600 teachers."  
Yet the 2004-2005 budget calls for 210 fewer full time teacher positions
than the 2003-2004 budget.  
    It is also noteworthy that the district reassigned 140 high-seniority
elementary teachers in order to preserve the jobs of 92 elementary
teachers with tenure (and less seniority), according to the press release.
    The objective of the realignment process was to realign high-seniority
teachers out of their jobs, not to save the jobs of any tenured teachers.
Moreover, the district is doing a whole lot more teacher reshuffling than is
necessary, and the supplementary teacher reshuffling was not done with
the informed consent of the affected [tenured]teachers, which is a
violation of the teacher tenure act, in my opinion.

Re: Special Ed teacher qualifications & realignment
Email received from Board member Ross Taylor, 9 Aug. 2004

Response to Ross Taylor re:
Special Ed teacher qualifications & realignment
By Doug Mann, 10 August 2004