Tiffini Flynn Forslund, a mother of three from Minneapolis, watched year after year as her children went through the public school system – yearning for a sense of community that she felt in her schools as a child. When her middle child entered 5th grade, Tiffini saw her education improve because of the powerful impact of one great teacher. This teacher was incredibly engaging: he challenged her daughter to succeed, and collaborated with parents like Tiffini to support students inside and outside of the classroom.
Tiffini was stunned to find out that this teacher was laid off due to “last-in, first-out” (LIFO) dismissal policies, which prioritize seniority over teacher quality when a school district conducts budgetary layoffs. To think that her youngest daughter would not have the chance to learn from this terrific teacher drove her to write letters to the local newspapers, the school board, and government officials. She was told, “this is just how it works.”
Tiffini believes that every child in Minnesota deserves to have great teachers. Tiffini’s youngest daughter was deprived of an excellent teacher because of LIFO policies. Her hope is that this lawsuit will allow for change to Minnesota’s LIFO laws and other teacher employment laws so that schools may prioritize effective teaching when making employment decisions.