African-American Chicago Public School Teachers/Staff To Receive Settlement Funds in Discrimination Lawsuit
Court Grants Final Approval of $9.25 Million Settlement
CHICAGO – In 2012 and 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and three teachers filed lawsuits against the Chicago Board of Education (the Board) challenging the Board’s “turnaround” policies and termination of hundreds of African American teachers and paraprofessional staff, alleging the turnarounds had a disparate racial impact and were a pattern or practice of race discrimination. The Chicago Teachers Union alleged the Board targeted South and West side schools with disproportionately higher African American teachers and staff. All employees at turnaround schools were terminated. Yesterday, the Court entered an order granting final approval of the $9.25 million settlement of both lawsuits.
Those eligible to receive a settlement payments are “All African American persons employed by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago as a teacher or para-professional staff, as defined in the labor agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Board of Education, in any school or attendance center subjected to reconstitution, or “turnaround,” in the 2012, 2013 and/or 2014 calendar years.”
To receive a settlement payment, claim forms must be submitted to the settlement administrator by Friday, September 9, 2022. Claim forms can also be emailed to attorney Patrick Cowlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 312-205-1702. More information about the case can be found at https://www.fishlawfirm.com/ctu/.
The Chicago Public School teachers/para-professional staff and the Chicago Teachers Union were represented by Robin Potter and Patrick Cowlin of Fish Potter Bolaños, P.C. and Randall D. Schmidt of Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School.
“This has been a challenging but necessary court battle and part of the Chicago Teachers Union's determination to ensure all students and staff have the schools Chicago deserves. The named plaintiffs and other CTU members have shown great courage throughout this 10-year fight for justice,” said Patrick Cowlin.
From 2006 to the present, approximately 34 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were subjected to a “turnaround” by the Board, which fired and replaced all faculty and staff from a school, irrespective of their performance. Almost all 34 school “turnarounds” occurred in the South Side, Southwest Side, and West Side high school or elementary networks, disproportionately affecting African American teaching and staff. Eighteen (18) of those turnarounds occurred between 2012 and 2014.