Chicago Public Schools, union settle 2 suits over layoffs

Chicago News

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union have reached a $9.25 million settlement in two long-running federal lawsuits stemming from the layoffs of hundreds of Black educators at underperforming schools.

About $5.25 million of the settlement would be distributed among 413 current and former union members under the terms of the deal, which is subject to court approval and up for a vote at Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting.

Attorneys for the teachers and paraprofessionals are seeking about $3.6 million in fees and $400,000 in court costs, according to the board.

CPS and CTU representatives praised the settlement Tuesday in emailed statements.

The federal lawsuits stemmed from several rounds of layoffs at 18 schools from 2012 to 2014 under a so-called “turnaround” policy which targeted schools that had been put on probation due to substandard test scores and attendance.

The affected employees worked at schools on Chicago’s South or West sides and many were in Black communities. An uneven number of Black educators lost their jobs, and while the teachers were directed to apply for new jobs at CPS, but not all were re-hired.

Three Black teachers who lost their jobs sued in December 2012, calling the terminations racially discriminatory. A companion suit was filed in 2015.

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A different lawsuit with similar allegations stemming from a round of layoffs in 2011 was dismissed last year by a federal judge.

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