- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Ramsey County judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged Minnesota’s teacher tenure laws.

A group of Minnesota parents and national education reform groups that sued last spring, maintained that the laws giving layoff protection to teachers after three years on the job protect ineffective teachers.

Judge Margaret Marrinan on Wednesday ruled that the lawsuit failed to establish a link between low academic achievement and the due process provided by the tenure laws.

The plaintiffs alleged the laws are unconstitutional, perpetuate Minnesota’s achievement gaps and prevent efforts to improve the state’s public school system.

As it stands now senior teachers receive notice if their job is in question and are granted a hearing to make a case against termination, while teachers with less seniority lack those benefits.

State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said the laws protect teachers’ due process while still giving school officials the authority to remove teachers. The state’s teachers’ union said tenure rules give teachers due process against unwarranted firing.

“My hope is we can work with parents, and schools and community members on solving those problems because taking a look at the way teachers are being laid off is simply not getting to the crisis that we’re facing in Minnesota,” said Education Minnesota President Denise Specht.

The group of Minnesota parents were not pleased with the ruling and their attorney Jesse Stewart said an appeal might be an option.

This lawsuit is the third of its kind in the nation, the Star Tribune reported.


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