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Parents weigh in as Mpls educators plan to strike Tuesday; St. Paul still undecided

At a press conference outside SPPS headquarters, faith leaders, community groups and parents addressed concerns, while others stood in support.

ST PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul was in the final stretch of last-ditch negotiations Monday before a potential strike Tuesday, as Minneapolis' teachers union already gave the green light to strike Monday evening.

Parents are weighing in across the board. 

"This is not a time to alienate our children," said one community member.

At a press conference held outside SPPS headquarters, St. Paul faith leaders, community groups and parents addressed concern over a potential strike.

"These are challenging times for all of us, and of course, we know there are challenges on both sides," said Melvin Miller, a local pastor. "I taught for 13 years on both sides of the river, and as someone who has been an educator,  at the end of all of this, the ones that will suffer will be our kids."

"I understand that as a teacher, it's hard to have your voice heard," said Molly Dengler, a parent.

Dengler, a former educator and the co-president of the Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center PTA in Minneapolis, is standing in support of teachers, while helping other families navigate child care. 

"I know I have the privilege, more than a lot more parents, to adapt my work schedule, and I know that my son goes to the North Community YMCA after school, so I know I can count on them," she said. "But we are doing a lot to support other families who don't' have those options."

Some say strikes will leave some kids high and dry, and parents with little options.

"Our children have enough strikes against them already, they've been out for two years consistently, parents barely making minimum wage jobs will have to take off," said a grandparent of SPPS students, Robert McClain.

Others say teachers deserve their full support.

"You as a teacher are the ultimate stakeholder, and they are going to pay the ultimate price for this strike happening and it's for our kids," said Dengler.

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