Mpls. district, teachers reach tentative agreementby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minneapolis school teachers and district leaders have reached an agreement on a new contract.
The deal comes a year after the district missed a state-mandated deadline to have a contract in place. Missing that deadline cost the district about $800,000.
School Board chair Tom Madden said the new contract is retroactive and will only last for another six months, when a new deal will have to be negotiated.
"Everybody will be happy this is done, and now it's time to start looking forward to the next contract negotiations -- which will not be any easier, considering the deficit the state is in," Madden said.
The state faces a $6.2 billion deficit for the next fiscal year that starts July 1.
"We're just really excited to finally bring this to a close," said Lynn Nordgren, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Local 59 - the union representing Minneapolis teachers.
"We believe our teachers have been very diligent in making sure they've stayed focus on teaching and learning while we've gone through this kind of contentious time."
Nordgren co-signed a statement with Minneapolis superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, which was sent to staff Monday.
"Both parties are excited to continue moving forward and focusing collaboratively on the core of our work - providing high quality educational experiences for all students," the letter concluded.
Details of the new Minneapolis contract will be released next week. Teachers and the school board still have to sign off on the deal; those votes will take place in January.