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Minneapolis Public School educators push back against proposed budget cuts: "We deserve so much more"

Minneapolis educators stand up against historic budget cuts
Minneapolis Public School educators stand up against historic budget cuts 02:01

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis educators are standing up against historic budget cuts. Tuesday morning, union and community leaders gathered to share this message: they won't settle.

"I am angry because as a parent and organizer I know we deserve so much more," Minneapolis Public Schools parent and Take Action Minnesota organizer Lindsay Turner said.

Turner, alongside Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 leaders and other community members stood together in solidarity, asking for change.

MORE NEWS: Minneapolis teachers call school district's proposed budget cuts "emotional blackmail"

"Parents shouldn't have to be fighting for crumbs," Turner said.

"Our schools deserve to be fully funded," Brandon Schorsch with Jewish Community Action said. "And our priorities need to be based on the students and our communities based right here."

The group brought forward a letter signed by nearly 100 community organizations. It asks the district to work together with educators, families and community members to significantly increase student enrollment, teacher retention and boost staffing in the poorest neighborhoods within the district.  

"It is essential we are partnering together," MFT Local 59 President Greta Callahan said. "We are on the ground floor. It is our families. Our students who are living day to day and need to be co-creating about what is best for this district."

The group is also asking for immediate and long-term funding from the state.

"We all want the same thing," MFT Local 59 member Catina Taylor said. "Strong, thriving public schools."

RELATED: In new report, Minneapolis teachers union claims district's budget problems are exaggerated

MPS cites the historic budget shortfall to declining enrollment, rise of costs and the end of federal COVID-19 funding. 

The district tells WCCO it's been "focused on closing that budget gap while prioritizing the needs of our students. While there are many reductions, we kept equity at the center of the many services and programs that we still have to offer."

"The best way to have funding for a thriving city and state is to invest now," Callahan said. "It starts at the roots."

More information regarding the proposed MPS budget can be found here. The Minneapolis Public School district will vote on the proposed budget in June.

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