Mpls. teachers OK contract

  • Updated: April 15, 2012 - 11:42 PM

The two-year deal received 83 percent support. The school board is scheduled to vote on Tuesday.

Minneapolis teachers have ratified a new two-year contract that raises their pay in exchange for working a longer school year and that clears away some of the impediments their union says hamper teaching.

Those voting approved the deal with 83 percent support, said Lynn Nordgren, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the deal on Tuesday.

"We're excited," Nordgren said. "We have a lot of good things that will be good for students, for teachers, for schools and for the district overall."

The deal lengthens the classroom year by four days and adds 15 minutes to the official duty day. Those alone raise costs next year by $8.9 million and are worth $3,090 more annually for a typical teacher. Many teachers also will earn raises for longer experience or more education.

The proposed contract is projected to cost the district $17.1 million, largely financed by reserves or non-classroom cuts. That's a 6.4 percent increase in district costs.

Teachers negotiated for a number of changes they said will clear away distractions that hamper their ability to focus on improving lessons and monitoring how well students progress. The district also agreed to strive for lower-class sizes in poorly performing schools.

STEVE BRANDT

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