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Minneapolis Teachers Strike Enters 2nd Week With A New Concern: Makeup Days

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis students have missed five days of classes as the teachers strike continues with no sign of a resolution in sight.

The teachers union and the district are negotiating salaries, class sizes and mental health support for student, but now they have a new concern to add to the list: makeup days.

On Monday, hundreds rallied outside Minneapolis Public Schools' district office in support of educators holding the picket line. Greta Callahan, the president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, said there was some progress in talks over the weekend, as district officials offered contract language in regard class sizes.

Still, both sides are far apart on wages and mental health support. The union says the district will not negotiate these points.

"I'm wishing that the negotiations were closer, but I'm so glad that the teachers are continuing to stand strong and fight," said Briana Mercury, a union teacher.

Students have now missed five days of school. On the district's website, it says that Minneapolis Public Schools is "examining school-by-school data around when and if instructional time lost to the strike will need to be made up." It specifies that elementary students will need to make up any missed school after five missed days.

Erin Zielinski, a parent who has a first-grader in the district, says that while she understands teachers' frustrations, she and her husband are discussing how long until they consider moving their daughter to another district.

"What's the balance here," she said. "When do we make the decision of, like, no, we cannot do that, or we have to wait and see."

Teachers in the union say that any plans for making up days are not final, and that they would have to be agreed upon by educators in their return to work.

The district says it's Minnesota law that students in grades 1-11 get at least 165 days of instruction.

Both sides say they want to get kids back into the classroom as soon as possible.

The last teachers strike that took place in Minneapolis happened in 1970 and went on for three weeks.

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