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At a turbulent meeting on Tuesday evening, the Minneapolis Board of Education approved a plan to extend the school year and school days to make up for instructional time lost during the educator strike. 

The school board voted Tuesday in favor of the plan, which will add two weeks to the school year, with the last day of school scheduled for June 24, and 42 minutes to the end of each school day starting April 11, after students return from spring break.

The district's plan angered many people in attendance at the meeting, who have called on the school board to vote no on the calendar changes. (It's worth noting: Tuesday's meeting was a special business meeting, so there was no public comment period.)

The meeting was fairly typical until about 37 minutes in, when a member of the audience accused the board of punishing educators for exercising their rights after school board treasurer Kimberly Caprini said: "I don't want children to walk away from this and think that there are no consequences to the choices that you make. And it doesn't mean they may have made a poor choice in supporting and striking."

And then moments later as the board prepared to vote on the plan, meeting attendees got louder, prompting the board to call a 5-minute recess during which Superintendent Ed Graff left the meeting room. 

When the meeting resumed, students with megaphones interrupted board members, saying the plan is unfair and no one wants it. During this, two board members left their chairs and appeared to leave. You can watch the meeting here.

Earlier in the meeting, board members Ira Jourdain and Adriana Cerrillo echoed concerns students and parents shared over the amended school calendar, citing interruptions to families who have vacations planned and students who have jobs, sports or camps, as well as bus drivers and families with custodial arrangements.

The district's plan to make up instructional time had been agreed upon over the weekend as part of the return-to-work agreement with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT 59). The union also ratified its new contract over the weekend, bringing an end to the weekslong strike that began March 8.

The new calendar will allow the district to meet the state-required minimum instructional hours and days after students missed 15 days of school while teachers and education support professionals were on strike, the board says.

If the district falls below state instructional requirements, it could face fiscal and criminal penalties from the state. Superintendent Ed Graff said in the meeting board members, superintendents and educators could face criminal penalties. State law says those found guilty could face a fine of up to $10 or no more than 10 days in jail for each offense.

The school board's vote to approve the amended calendar came the same day Minneapolis students returned to school for the first day since March 7. 

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