What We’re Fighting For
If the last two years have shown us anything, our students need more support – not less. With school budgets full of federal COVID-relief dollars, now is the time for Saint Paul Public Schools to invest in students and honors the work of our educators.
The Saint Paul Federation of Educators is using contract negotiations to win improvements for both students and members. The union has been working since May to settle the contract, but the district hasn’t moved and even wants to backtrack on important protections for students like class size limits and guaranteed mental health supports and recess time.
SPFE’s top priorities include:
- Smaller class sizes so students can get more individualized attention.
- Increased staffing for mental health teams at every school – especially psychologists, intervention specialists and social workers.
- More adults working with our students with special needs so they can get more one-on-one support.
- Creating culturally affirming school climates so all students, no matter what they look like or how much money their family makes, can thrive and succeed. This includes hiring more bilingual education assistants to better communicate with our families, increasing anti-racist training and support for educators and centering racial justice in what we teach.
- Fair and reasonable cost-of-living wages for our educators, especially for our education assistants and support staff, to keep them in the profession.
Find out more information on SPFE’s proposals.
Where We’re At in Bargaining
Contract negotiations, which happen every two years per state law, began last May. The union offered 23 proposals in four public sessions before SPPS filed for mediation in November. Mediation has been ongoing since December.
Nobody wants to strike. But if the district won’t move, the short-term sacrifice of a strike starting as soon as March 8 is worth it so our students reap the long-term benefits of the schools they deserve for years to come.
SPPS Can Afford to Invest More
The money is there. With over $300 million available in federal relief funds, the district can start investing in what parents and students want and need – and what educators know works.
SPPS officials make grim financial projections each year, but end up running a surplus and adding money to the district’s rainy day fund. Last year, the district budgeted for a $33 million deficit only to end the year with a $22 million surplus.
Budgets reflect priorities. District leaders need to start listening to the experts – parents and educators – about what our students need.
Can ARP funds be spent on staff?
Watch more videos of SPFE Treasurer Todd Marder breaking down the district’s finances.
How to Take Action
Help us settle a contract that gives our students the supports they need and honors the work of educators!
Support SPFE educators in our fight for the schools St. Paul students deserve by clicking the link below.
Share on Social Media
Follow SPFE’s social media accounts and post or tweet your support. Check out our social media toolkit for samples and ideas.
FAQ for parents
Want to share information with other parents? Download our parent flyers:
Parent resources in the event of a strike
View our Google Doc for more information
How to Support Educators on Strike
Check back soon for details.