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Continued: Class sizes tightened in new St. Paul teachers pact

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 25, 2014 - 5:46 AM

The union succeeded in negotiating a lower number at the top of each of the grades K-5 class size ranges. But it also agreed to give the district flexibility in meeting the class size goals, Ricker said.

For example, if a school had two third-grade classrooms, it could meet the class size goals through averaging — dividing the total number of students in those classrooms by two — rather than holding firm to the 22-to-25 student limit for each of those classrooms.

At the secondary level, the class-size goals would be geared to the individual teacher and the subject that he or she teaches. If an English teacher, for example, teaches four classes, the total number of students would be added up and divided by four, with the aim being to have the average fall within the preferred range.

Last week, immediately after a union rally outside district headquarters, Silva and school board members heard parents speak on behalf of union proposals, among them, the class size reductions.

With a tentative deal done, Silva said that she, too, appreciated what parents and others had to say. “They came, they supported,” she said. “I was watching a community that loves teachers.”

Elsewhere in Minnesota, about 40 percent of teacher contracts remain unsettled, Williams said.

 

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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  • St. Paul’s Superintendent Valeria Silva shared details of the tentative labor agreement reached between the St. Paul School District and the teachers union. The deal will avoid a possible strike. The union is to vote on the agreement on March 4.

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