12/27/2012 11:43 am ET

CPS Racial Discrimination Lawsuit: 3 Teachers, Union Sue District Over Losing Their Jobs

Three African-American teachers filed suit Wednesday against the Chicago Board of Education Wednesday alleging that the district's school turnaround program discriminates against black teachers and staff members.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the teachers -- who lost their jobs this June when 10 of the district's schools were "turned around" -- say the turnaround program unfairly impacts black teachers on the city's south and west sides. They say Chicago Public Schools is to blame for a decline of black CPS teachers from about 40 percent in 2000 to just less than 30 percent a decade later.

The federal lawsuit, filed by the Chicago Teachers Union, is seeking class-action status, the Chicago Tribune reports. CPS has not commented on the specifics of the suit, which also aims to get Donald L. Garrett Jr., Robert Green and Vivonell Brown Jr. their CPS teaching jobs back.

"We have not seen the lawsuit and cannot provide comment until we have reviewed the allegations," CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus told NBC Chicago.

CPS' turnaround program -- which replaces the principal and majority of the staff of schools deemed to be low-performing -- has met the ire of many Chicago parents, students and activists. The turnarounds were approved unanimously by the Board of Education in February.



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