The Circle of Education Funding is playing out in real life all over the state. Today’s edition finds us in St. Paul where union teachers have authorized a strike that could begin March 11, 2023 if an agreement is not reached. TLDR? Watch the video instead:

Here are three key numbers in the negotiation:

$56 million – this is how much new money St. Paul received from the legislature, following Step One of the Circle of Education Funding.

$112 million – this is the amount of new funding needed to cover the union’s demand for a two-year contract. This represents Step 2 in the Circle of Education funding, where the union demands more money than the district received from the state.

$106 million – this is how much the district is already in the hole, before they agree to any new contract. This represents Step 3 in the Circle where the district will have to close schools, lay off teachers and cut programs in order to afford the new union contract.

Two other notes relating to St. Paul schools. First, the union demanded (and the district agreed) to arbitrary class size reductions and mental health spending in the last contract which is putting even more pressure on the next contract. Class size reductions have everything to do with keeping more union members on the payroll with dubious educational value.

Second, award winning Superintendent Joe Gothard just announced he is leaving the district to take a job in Wisconsin. Signing this unsustainable teacher contract will be his parting gift to the taxpayers of St. Paul.

One more note: St. Paul schools and teachers are failing their kids. Almost 75% of their kids are below grade level in math and 66.1% are behind in reading.

This post is part of American Experiment’s broader campaign to expose the teachers’ union as an organization more concerned about adults than children. While many teachers in Minnesota work hard and care about the children they teach, their union Education Minnesota has opposed every important education reform in the history of the state. Go to to learn more.

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