Minnesota Lawsuit Attacks Teacher Tenure

April 17, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Minnesota State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius

St Paul, Minn – Four mothers backed by national groups opposing teachers’ unions filed a lawsuit April 14 to end Minnesota’s tenure and seniority protections for teachers. The suit, filed by Partnership for Educational Justice, argues that “harmful teacher employment statutes” violate the state constitution’s guarantee of a “thorough and efficient” education.

State education commissioner Brenda Cassellius responded that Minnesota has “rigorous laws” that both protect due process for teachers and give school administrators and school boards the authority to remove them. The Partnership for Educational Justice, founded by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown and backed by billionaires such as the Waltons of Walmart and Eli Broad, also sponsored a similar suit in New York State. Campbell Brown “continues to do the bidding of her monied donors,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a statement. “Tenure doesn’t give anyone a job for life; it’s about ensuring fairness and due process in the workplace. Stripping teachers of workplace protections will harm, not help, those students most at risk.” Read more

April 16, 2016

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