22 March 2022
Minneapolis students should expect the school year to extend into further into June, district officials said, to make up classes missed during the ongoing teachers strike.
School and union representatives are continuing to negotiate in an attempt to reach an agreement that would end the strike, now in its third school week.
Through Tuesday, the strike has canceled classes for 11 days for the district’s 28,700 students. The district has said it only had five days of cushion in most school calendars, and anything beyond that would likely have to be made up to meet state requirements for classroom hours.
Teachers continued to picket through the rain on Tuesday. Dozens gathered at district headquarters in the morning, holding signs and umbrellas.
In a news briefing, union representatives welcomed parents as well as Washburn High School student Nyagach Kueth and Rev. Runney Patterson to voice their support of educators and reiterate their desire to reach a deal and get students back in class.
“MPS, it’s not hard to give us what we need,” Kueth said. “St. Paul has done it, so you can do it, too.”
Shaun Laden, president of the union’s education support professionals chapter, said the union continues to see community support.
“We believe we’re close,” he said. “We believe that we can make this work.”
In a video update on Tuesday, School Board Chairwoman Kim Ellison said she believes “there is general agreement on the key areas of protecting educators of color, class sizes and student supports — all top priorities of both the unions and the district.”
She said she expects agreements on those issues to come soon.
“The necessary pieces are in place for an agreement and everybody is working to make it happen,” Ellison said, after briefly summarizing the cost of the district’s recent wage proposals for both support staff and teachers.
Dulce de la Rosa, a parent of two students and president of the Latino parent advisory council, said through a translator that she supports the educators strike demands because they are the same demands as parents.
“Right now, Ed Graff’s children are attending school. Mine are not,” she said, referring to the district’s superintendent whose children attend school in another district. “I need my children back in school.”