The Chicago Board of Education targeted teachers in black neighborhoods for layoffs in 2011, firing African-American teachers at a higher rate than white coworkers, the teacher’s union claims in a class action.
Chicago Teachers Union Local 1; the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, and three teachers sued the Board of Education of the City of Chicago in Federal Court.
The Board of Ed fired 480 tenured teachers in June 2011, 42 percent of whom were African-American, though fewer than 29 percent of Chicago’s tenured teachers then were black, according to the complaint.
Chicago’s 685 public schools serve more than 400,000 students, 42 percent of whom are African-American, according to the complaint.
“The African American teaching force in CPS [Chicago Public Schools] as a percentage of the overall teaching population has steadily declined, from 40.6 percent in 2000 to 29.6 percent in 2010. In 2011, African American teachers constituted approximately 28.7 percent of the tenured teaching population. Most of CPS’s African-American teachers are employed in South and West Side schools,” the complaint states.
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