Judge: Teacher layoffs didn't discriminate against blacks

CHICAGO (AP) — A class-action lawsuit claiming Chicago Public Schools discriminated against black educators when it announced layoffs in 2011 has been dismissed.

The 2012 lawsuit by the Chicago Teachers Union was filed on behalf of 630 black educators who were among 1,470 CPS employees who were laid off.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the union alleged the layoffs disproportionately hurt black teachers because they made up a higher proportion of teachers dismissed.

School officials said their determination on who would be laid off based on enrollment at the schools where the teachers worked.

In tossing the lawsuit earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso rejected the contention that there were alternative, less discriminatory ways to pick those to be laid off. However, Alonso did acknowledge that the layoffs adversely affected black educators, despite their finding full-time jobs at other schools or substitute teachers.

Teachers union spokesman Ronnie Reese said Tuesday the union will appeal the judge’s decision.

CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said the court found the union’s case lacked merit, adding the district will continue to ``aggressively work to promote teacher and staff diversity in our schools.”

A little over 50% of the district’s teachers are white, 21.2 % are Latino and 20.7% are black.

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This story was first published Jan. 21. It was updated on Jan. 22 to correct the breakdown of Latino and black teachers in Chicago Public Schools. A total of 21.2% are Latino and 20.7% are black.