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Minneapolis teachers, school district reach new contract agreement

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Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. Both parties announced the deal Saturday evening after three consecutive days of talks.

"We are pleased that we have reached an agreement," Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, superintendent of MPS, and Lynn Nordgren, president of MFT, announced in a joint statement released Saturday evening. "It’s been a long and challenging process, but we are excited that this new contract will contribute significantly in our efforts to create conditions that will enhance and accelerate our work to improve student outcomes.”

No specifics have been released. But both parties claimed the new contract will improve education in Minneapolis classrooms by "investing in teachers and students who are at the core of our work," according to Superintendent Johnson.

“This tentative agreement will go a long way in ensuring that MPS continues to be the best place for students to grow and flourish and teachers to feel supported in the critical work they do every day with students,” added Nordgren.

The two sides have been negotiating the contract since June, and have been assisted by a mediator since October, the Star Tribune reported.

Two other large school districts in the state have been jousting with their teachers in public. Just last week the St. Paul school district announced an agreement with its teachers union, shortly after the teachers had threatened to strike. A similar situation is occurring in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, where teachers are expressing their frustration with the lack of progress on a new contract, according to the Star Tribune.

The details of the contract will not be made public until all the language is finalized, according to the statement. Information will be available once it has been shared with the MFT membership and the Minneapolis Board of Education. A vote is expected in mid-April.

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