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Minneapolis teachers approve new 2-year contract

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Members of the Minneapolis teachers union have ratified a new two-year contract that includes pay increases and measures to limit class sizes in some schools, union officials said Saturday, the Star Tribune reports.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers did not disclose the final vote totals.

“This is a contract that is good for Minneapolis students and the professionals who serve them,” said federation president Lynn Nordgren.

The two-year agreement, which covers the current and the 2014-15 school years, gives teachers and other professionals raises of about 2 percent per year.

The agreement takes a step toward setting class size limits, especially in the city's high-priority schools. The agreement also sets the stage for a reduction in standardized testing across the district. Teachers also will have an opportunity for new flexibility in curriculum, instruction and schedules through the Community Partnership Schools initiative, FOX 9 reports.

The school board is expected to approve the contract at its next meeting.

The union and the school district reached the agreement earlier in March, after nine months of negotiations that included the assistance of a mediator.

The St. Paul school district and its teachers union recently agreed on a new contract, which also includes provisions to reduce class sizes.

The teachers union in Minnesota's largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin, are threatening to strike because of an impasse in their contract negotiations.

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