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St. Paul, Minnesota, March 7, 2020 — As they spent another day in contract negotiations with little progress Saturday, St. Paul educators urged district leaders to reorder priorities in the $750 million annual budget to better reflect what supports students need and deserve.
Both sides were still negotiating as of 9:30 p.m Saturday.
The Saint Paul Federation of Educators top priorities — more mental health, multilingual and special education supports and expanding restorative practices — would immediately impact the racial disparities in our schools. Yet, these priorities represent just 6 percent of the district’s budget.
“District leaders are desperately out of touch and missing the mark on what students need,” said SPFE President Nick Faber. “Do public schools need more money? Absolutely. But the district could do better with the money it has to spend, and we are asking school officials to prioritize students over adults.”
Mediation is scheduled for Sunday and Monday in hopes of reaching a settlement before a March 10 strike date.
Negotiations began last May between SPFE and the district. The union offered 31 proposals and filed for mediation in November because the district never offered counters to many of those proposals.