In the last 18 months, over 640 teachers and support professionals have left the Minneapolis Public School district, according to MFT59. In that same time frame, 120 teachers of color have left Minneapolis Public Schools for surrounding districts that pay more, taken early retirement, changed professions, or have been fired. In fact, Black teachers are 7.9 times more likely to be fired by MPS than White teachers.
The district has yet to accept the memorandum of understanding BIPOC educators proposed in 2019 to help retain educators of color. The effort was “proposed by educators of color, led by educators of color, for educators of color,” stressed Vasquez, who added that it shows a lack of respect by the district to not approve it.
Among other things, the MOU establishes procedures for making retention of educators of color a priority (in alignment with the demographics of individual schools), and allowing excessed educators to return if a vacancy arises. When any educator of color leaves for any reason, the type of separation will be detailed on the next quarterly report and a process for repairing harm and restoring relationship would be offered to the departing educator.
Trey Carter is a Black man and has been an ESP for seven years but was excessed from Barton Community School this year. He spoked at a press conference led by Black educators at the Davis Center on Wednesday, March 16 to highlight issues educators of color face. He is early to school and leaves late, but still can’t pay his bills on what he earns as an ESP, he said.
“I’m standing for the teachers of color,” stated Carter. “I’m standing for a living wage. I’m standing in solidarity with you all.”
“This is how we make one Minnesota,” said Leslie E. Redmond, former NAACP president and founder of Don’t Complain Activate.
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