Disproportionate Number of Teacher Lay Offs are Black and Latino
The majority of school teachers recently laid off by the Chicago Board of Education are people of color, and hardest hit are African teachers in schools serving African American students, according to a new analysis released today by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
An analysis of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) layoffs shows 55 percent of teachers who lost their jobs this past year are people of color. The data are especially troubling because according to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), blacks make up only 30 percent of all public school teachers. Given the push for a longer, better school day neighborhood schools need more teachers not less.
According to the ISBE School Report Card data for 2010:
50.6 % of CPS teachers are White
29.6 % of CPS teachers are African American
15.2 % of CPS teachers are Latino
Yet, a demographic analysis of the 75 percent of laid off teachers for whom data was available on ISBE‘s Teacher Service Record reveals:
43 % of laid off CPS teachers are African American
40 % of laid off CPS teachers are White
12 % of laid off CPS teacher are Latino
“Clearly I am disturbed when any teacher is put out of work, however, this is a disturbing trend that has real consequences for the overwhelming Black and Latino student population in our schools who look to their teachers as role models for achievement and success,” said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “We want to know what CPS is doing to address this racial disparity.
With unemployment soaring in the black community, why is CPS exacerbating this crisis by getting rid of experienced and valuable educators in the first place?”
In addition to the racial disparity in the teacher layoffs, there are disparities regarding the schools from which teachers were laid off. The 930 school-based teachers laid off are 4.4 percent of teachers working in schools. However, these layoffs were twice as likely to occur at schools with greater concentrations of low-income students or African American students.
Throughout CPS, 87 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch. However, these low-income students are not evenly distributed throughout the system. The schools that have a higher concentration of economically disadvantaged students have twice the teacher layoff rate of those schools with lower concentrations of these students, as shown in the chart below.
Demographics of Teachers and Students in Chicago Public Schools
Black Teachers Percentage Year
9,163 39.4% 2002
7,162 31.6% 2008
6,332 29.7% 2010
Down by 2,831 since 2002
White Teachers Percentage Year
10,466 45.0% 2002
11,037 48.7% 2008
10,596 49.7% 2010
Up by 130 since 2002
Latino Teachers Percentage Year
2,884 12.4% 2002
3,468 15.3% 2008
3,433 16.1% 2010
Up by 549 since 2002
Black Students Percentage Year
184,176 45% 2010
White Students Percentage Year
36,835 9% 2010
Latino Students Percentage Year
36.1 % 2002
167,804 41% 2010
Research above data on teachers and students since 2002 provided by The Black Star Project (September 22, 2011).