Teachers hit picket lines in Minneapolis as parents worry

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Teachers have hit the picket lines at public schools across Minneapolis, calling their strike a fight to ensure "safe and stable schools" for students and for better wages for the lowest-paid support staff.

But many families of the 29,000 students in one of Minnesota’s largest school districts are worried. They fear an extended walkout by the nearly 3,300 teachers could mean a return to the struggles of balancing work and child care they have faced throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

School administrators have pledged to keep negotiating. The teachers union says it’s also willing to resume bargaining, but no talks are scheduled.

Meanwhile, teachers in St. Paul reached a deal late Monday to avert their own strike. The issues in the two districts were largely the same: wages, classroom sizes and mental health supports for students.

St. Paul teachers said they made gains in their deal.