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Teachers file EEOC layoff complaint

Updated: March 11, 2012 8:44AM

The Chicago Teachers Union filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday, alleging the 2011 layoffs unfairly impacted black teachers.

“The Board’s lay-off policy has had a systematic, class-wide, disparate impact on African-American teachers,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement. “We believe this policy violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and should be prosecuted by the EEOC.”

In the 2011 school year, 47 percent of CPS’ tenured teachers were white, while 29 percent were black, according to the CTU. But of those who lost their jobs, 36 percent were white, while 43 percent were black.

The EEOC complaint was filed on behalf of four laid-off teachers but the complaint also seeks “restitution” for 365 other African-American teachers who lost their jobs, according to the CTU statement.

CPS officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

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