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Talks resume between St. Paul teachers, school district

ST. PAUL — Talks resumed Monday between St. Paul Public Schools and the union representing its teachers who have threatened to strike Tuesday if a contract agreement cannot be reached.

Negotiations continued through the weekend between district officials and the St. Paul Federation of Educators.

Several tentative agreements were reached by Sunday night, but there was no significant movement on bigger contract issues, including additional resources for mental health, multilingual and special education.

“District leaders don’t understand the urgency of these needs. Educators do — we see them every day in our schools,” said Nick Faber, president of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators. “Our students can’t wait any longer.”

Negotiations resumed Monday with a mediator, union spokeswoman Megan Boldt said.

District officials said they’re trying to be responsive to the union’s call for more support staff, but doesn’t have the money to pay for all its requests.

“I believe our students need more social/emotional support, but any additional resources — above the millions of dollars SPPS currently invests in these positions — have to be targeted where the need is greatest,” Superintendent Joe Gothard said in a statement.

Negotiations began last May between the union and the district.