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All children deserve a great education. To address our city’s long-standing and enormous opportunity gaps, children must be in school and learning. This is especially true for our Black, Brown, and Indigenous students who are falling even further behind every day they are not in the classroom. We urge all parties to:
- Stay at the table until an agreement is reached. Because of the pandemic, children have already lost enormous learning opportunities. Nationally, at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, students started 4 months behind in math and reading. We know class time is essential for student success; we urge both parties to come together so children can return back to school.
- Prioritize the protection of teachers of color as part of the next contract, including codifying a memorandum of agreement to retain educators of color. It is well documented that teachers of color strengthen: 1) Culturally relevant teaching—and better understand students’ lived experiences and foster deep teacher-student relationships; 2) Academic achievement and attendance (and reduce suspension rates); and 3) Representation in rigorous and advanced classes and programs. Further diversifying the teaching profession will help meet the needs of Minneapolis students, students who represent incredibly diverse and broad backgrounds.
Across our community, there are many people committed to our city’s children and the education they receive. It’s paramount that we keep children at the center of our actions and decision-making.