Feb 21, 2020, MinnPost: St. Paul teachers vote to authorize strike https://www.minnpost.com/education/2020/02/st-paul-teachers-vote-to-authorize-strike/ On Thursday, members of the St. Paul Federation of Educators — the union representing teachers, education assistants and school and community service professionals in the St. Paul Public Schools district — authorized a strike. The decision had widespread buy-in by SPFE members: Nearly two-thirds of the union’s 3,550 members cast a vote, and of those, 82 percent voted in favor of a strike. “No one wants to strike, but St. Paul educators are fed up. District leaders aren’t listening to the people who know our students best – the educators and parents who are with them every day,” union president Nick Faber said in a press release late Thursday evening. “The longer they ignore our proposals, the longer our students go without the resources they need and the schools they deserve.” … So what, exactly, is the union asking for? More than pay increases, for one. … The union is seeking more aggressive pay increases: 3.4 percent the first year and 2 percent the second, but they also have a series of other asks, including more mental health supports for students, a top priority that entails staffing each school building with a team comprised of social workers, psychologists, nurses, counselors and behavior intervention specialists. The union also wants increased support for English language learners and more appropriate caseloads for special-education educators.
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.