- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2014

Michigan school administrators with one district have finally booted a 30-year-old written policy that gives employment preferences to women, minorities and non-Christians, saying they don’t know how the caveat got there in the first place.

The policy that wound up in teacher union contracts for Ferndale Public Schools in Oakland County read, Fox News reported: “Should there be applicants with equal qualifications for the position and one or more of the qualifications is a current employee, the current employee with the greatest set of special considerations shall be given to women and/or minority [applicants] defined as Native American, Asian American, Latino, African American and those of the non-Christian faith.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy first found the policy while reviewing teacher contracts. District officials said they didn’t even know about the clause, which was a written policy for those who already worked in the school system but wanted to apply for a different district job, Fox News reported.

The school district and union members that serve the area teachers removed the clause shortly after it was brought to their attention.

“We don’t know why and how it was first placed into the contract,” Ferndale officials said in a statement to Fox News. “It has never, to our knowledge, been enacted or cost an applicant a job.”

A spokeswoman for the schools said the text hailed from 1979 “and is not in compliance with current legislation,” Fox News reported.

Mackinac spokesman Ted O’Neil, however, said it’s curious that the school did not know of its written policy.

“Typically, these contracts are updated every three years,” he told Fox News. “I think it definitely is possible that it either cost someone a job change or at one point dissuaded someone from changing jobs if they knew that clause existed.”

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