[ Nepotism ] Mother of Chicago Teachers Union Trustee Gets $4 Million While Fired Black Teachers Get Only $12,000 Each

In a long-drawn-out lawsuit that was filed by Robin Potter, mother of current Chicago Teachers Union Trustee Jackson Potter (the case was filed while Jackson Potter was Chief of Staff for the CTU). There will be a settlement that gives each teacher fired about $12 thousand dollars while the law firm will receive up to $4 million dollars.

Noted Chicago labor lawyer Robin Potter (above, with son Jackson Potter, CORE co-chair, at the CORE press conference at Martin Luther King Jr. High School on June 12, 2010) provided legal advice to the teachers who came to Operation PUSH on June 29. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.

In the case of the Chicago Teachers Union versus the Board of Education, the harm, CTU contends, came from the board’s decision to turn around poor-performing schools by firing the entire staff.

The cases settled are Chicago Teachers Union et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago (Case Nos. 12-cv-10311 and 15-cv-8149), both pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Case No. 12-cv-10311


Ending nearly a decade of litigation, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union have reached a $9.25 million settlement over the layoffs of entire school staffs that disproportionately affected hundreds of Black educators on the South and West sides.

The district did not admit wrongdoing, and CTU and the affected teachers must drop their claims as a condition of the settlement. A different lawsuit with similar allegations stemming from a round of layoffs in 2011 was dismissed last year by a federal judge who found the sackings adversely affected the group of teachers, but not because of discriminatory practices by CPS.

The Board of Education will pay $1.7 million toward the settlement while the board’s insurance will cover the rest, officials said.

About $4 million of the settlement amount is set to go toward attorney fees and court costs, while the 413 teachers would split the remaining $5.25 million according to a court-approved formula that would determine each person’s share. The average plaintiff would receive about $12,700. https://chicago.suntimes.com/

The Impact of Discrimination


Many CPS students of color today will never have a single Black teacher during their time in public school, despite extensive research showing that both Black and white students benefit from having Black teachers, and that the presence of Black teachers increases educational outcomes for Black students. There is also a disproportionate impact of REACH teacher evaluations on Black educators that contributes to turnover, and a key part of educator retention is an evaluation system that explicitly values African-American educators.

Expert witnesses in the Union’s 2011 layoff and turnaround litigation have determined that those policies and practices had a disparate racial impact on African-American teachers and paraprofessionals. This impact was the natural result of the fact that CPS was and remains segregated by race. Additionally, expert witnesses in turnaround litigation found that the criteria to select turnaround schools—probation status based primarily on test scores—have no relation to whether the mostly Black teachers and paraprofessionals being displaced are effective educators, that there is no legitimate educational benefit to displacing all of the teachers and staff in a school, and that there are equally effective, less discriminatory alternatives to turnarounds.

CPS also continues to use enrollment decline to cut school budgets and lay off school staff, setting off a vicious cycle of disinvestment and further enrollment decline. Since the introduction of student-based budgeting (SBB) in 2014, which sets a flat funding rate per students rather than funding based on student needs, schools in communities struggling with population loss have been hit even harder by budget cuts. At the same time, the Board has paid upwards of $5 million to a private law firm to fight the cases instead of addressing the important issues raised on behalf of Chicago’s African-American community. https://chicagodefender.com

… it seems like the fired black teachers are getting the short end of the stick. – $4 million for a connected union law firm – $12,000 for black teachers who were fired

…. as they say in the streets

just some more poverty pimping by latte liberals …

[Here is the text from the settlement agreement the Chicago Board of Education will vote on Dec. 15, 2021]



December 15, 2021



DESCRIPTION: Subject to court approval after a fairness hearing, the Board and Plaintiff, Chicago Teachers Union, and a class of 413 persons, have reached a settlement disposing of all claims against the Board in Case Nos. 1:12-cv-10311 and 1:15-cv-8149, filed respectively on December 26, 2012, and September 16, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The settlement amount is $9.25 million dollars plus reasonable claims administration costs, $1.7 million dollars of which is payable by the Board of Education and $7.55 million of which is payable by insurance carriers. Reasonable claims administration costs will be paid by an insurer.

Subject to court approval, additional settlement terms will include the following: CTU Members Affected: 413 current and former employees.

Attorneys’ Fees: Attorneys’ fees are subject to court approval. Plaintiffs’ counsel, the firm of Fish Potter Bolan͂os, P.C., will seek approximately $3.6 Million in fees, to be paid from the settlement amount.

Reimbursement of Court/Litigation Counsel Costs: Reimbursement of Court/Litigation Costs are subject to court approval. Plaintiffs’ counsel, the firm of Fish Potter Bolan͂os, P.C., will seek approximately

$400,000 in court costs, to be paid from the settlement amount.

Allocation of Remainder of Settlement Amount to Class Members: Plaintiffs’ counsel, the firm of Fish Potter Bolan͂os, P.C., will request that approximately $5.25 million be allocated to the 413 class members pursuant to a formula which will include an incentive payment to named CTU members and determine each affected CTU member’s proportionate share based on claimed losses. This formula will be subject to Court approval after a fairness hearing.

Release of Claims: The Chicago Teachers Union will execute a release of claims against the Board, its employees, and agents, and, as a condition of payment, each affected CTU member will execute a release of claims against the Board, its employees, and agents.

Non-Admission: The Board specifically denies that it is legally liable for the claims and the agreement is entered by the Board solely to conclude protracted and costly litigation and to mitigate financial risk to the Board and the taxpayers.

The settlement terms are subject to court approval after a fairness hearing.

LSC REVIEW: LSC approval is not applicable to this report.


FINANCIAL: Charge a total of $1,700,000.00 as described above to the Law Department.

Budget Classification Fiscal year 2022… 12460-115

AUTHORIZATION: Authorize the General Counsel to negotiate all settlement terms other than the Board-approved settlement amount, to execute the Settlement Agreement and all ancillary documents related thereto and take all actions necessary to implement the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

Inspector General – Each party to the agreement shall acknowledge that, in accordance with 105 ILCS 5/34-13.1, the Inspector General of the Chicago Board of Education has the authority to conduct certain investigations and that the Inspector General shall have access to all information and personnel necessary to conduct those investigations.

Conflicts – The agreement shall not be legally binding on the Board if entered into in violation of the provisions of 105 ILCS 5/34-21.3 which restricts the employment of or the letting of contracts to, former Board members during the one year period following expiration or other termination of their terms of office.

Indebtedness – The Board’s Indebtedness Policy adopted June 26, 1996 (96-0626-PO3), as amended from time to time shall be incorporated into and made a part of the agreement.

Ethics – The Board’s Ethics Code adopted May 25, 2011 (11-0525-PO2), as amended from time to time, shall be incorporated into and made a part of the agreement.

Contingent Liability – The agreement shall contain the clause that any expenditure beyond the current fiscal year is deemed a contingent liability, subject to appropriation in the subsequent fiscal year budget(s).



General Counsel


Fired Black educators reach $9.25M settlement with CPS


2012 civil rights lawsuit filed by CTU against CPS over ‘turnarounds’ going to trial


Case No. 12-cv-10311


Case No. 15 C 8149 Chi. Teachers Union v. Bd. of Educ. of Chi.


Daniel L. Hatcher has written a new book on this topic called, The Poverty Industry: The exploitation of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

Hatcher outlined the scope of the poverty industrial complex – foster care, nursing homes, state human agencies, and private companies such as Maximus and WellCare who are chasing the dollars – child support benefits, Social Security Survivor benefits, Veterans Assistance benefits, disability benefits, and yes – federal Medicaid benefits. Mr. Hatcher said, “With the book, I try to step back a bit and see how these interconnections are happening, and the alarming thing is that you see a shift in the mission, where you have the state governments and the state human services agencies that exist to serve the public welfare are instead turning their focus their efforts on maximizing revenue and even hiring companies to help them in that process.”


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