A lawsuit accuses the Kansas City Missouri School District of discriminating against older teachers and principals as it implemented its "right-sizing" plan.
Filed in Jackson County on behalf of an individual named Thomas Levin, the suit hopes to bring a class-action case against the district on behalf of workers aged 40 and older "who met the school district's legitimate job expectations but were nonetheless terminated, non-renewed, demoted, re-assigned, or otherwise adversely affected" when the district closed approximately half of its buildings before the current school year.
Superintendent John Covington made the removal of "ineffective" staff a part of the transformation. District officials prodded eligible workers to retire, stating that "[i]n times of strong change it is often senior staff who hold on to the old culture of an organization."
[KCMSD] encourages the retirement of those who know that they may not be able to keep up with the changes necessary to raise student achievement.No one would blame the administration for using the right-sizing plan to eliminate teachers and principals who were just showing up for the paycheck. But Levin alleges that older workers were treated unfairly. His suit says experienced teachers lost out on jobs to younger instructors with "inappropriate" certifications. Older principals and vice principals who were asked to reapply for their jobs received lower scores during the "subjective" evaluation process.
Levin is represented by the Meyers Law Firm. He received a "right to sue" notice after filing a discrimination charge with the Kansas City Human Relations Department and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.