St. Paul Teachers Continue Strike

St. Paul Teachers Continue Strike

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Some 36,000 public school students had another day off Wednesday in St. Paul while their teachers walked the picket line in the second day of a labor strike.

Teachers and support staff picketed again outside the city's schools, as parents scrambled to make alternative plans for their children.

St. Paul Federation of Educators spokeswoman Megan Boldt said Wednesday no new contract talks have been scheduled with the school district. The district says all schools will be closed for a third day Thursday.

"We are ready to come back to the table when the district is ready to make some movement," said union president Nick Faber.

The two sides broke off talks about 3 a.m. Tuesday after six days of mediation. The union wants mental health teams in every school building, but district officials say that would be cost prohibitive.

The state's second-largest district already has 500 positions dedicated to student health and emotional well-being, said Superintendent Joe Gothard. The union's proposal would require an additional 300 hires at a cost of $30 million a year, he added.

The union also wants more multilingual staff and additional educators working with students with special needs.

Boldt said 87% of members, or nearly 3,100 people, participated in the first day of picketing Tuesday.

Negotiations began last May between the union and the district.