Mann for School Board
The 2004-2005 Budget: teacher layoffs & realignments
The Board cuts 210.8 teaching positions, 608.0 teachers get layoff notices. The district has not followed the law and the teachers' contract in carrying out a reduction of the teacher workforce. As many as 196 of the highest seniority elementary teacher with multiple teaching licenses were forced to bid for positions in areas for which they are not necessarily qualified. The realignment process will make appropriate, effective , and safe special education services inaccessible to many MPS students who need, and would otherwise recieve appropriate, effective, and safe special education services.
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 shiftinglayoffs 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.
News analysis and opinion by Doug Mann, 23 July 2004
Methods used by the district administration and approved by the board were designed to maximize the number of high-seniority elementary school teachers who would be realigned out of their positions. Both the number of teachers laid off (placed on unrequested leaves of absence) and the number of high-seniority elementary teachers reassigned are excessive and illegal, in my opinion.