Learn more about the ESP’s they are also fighting for in this article by MPR News.
Article by: Elizabeth Shockman,
…The majority of Minneapolis’ ESPs are people of color and work as special education assistants, associate educators, school success program assistants and child care assistants, among other roles. The starting wage for the lowest paid of these positions is $24,000 per year. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers is asking the district to raise the starting wage to $35,000 per year. Over half of Minneapolis ESPs have second or third jobs, according to the union.
The district agrees it needs to raise ESP wages, but it is still millions of dollars apart in negotiations from what the union wants. As of Wednesday, the union was asking for a 23 to 44 percent wage bump for ESPs over two years. The district was sticking to a 9 percent wage increase over two years. *(Editor’s NOTE: a large difference in this wage request would be the movement of ESP to full-time salary employees vs the part-time status they currently have. To see details of the MFT/MSP negotiation requests visit the MFT Safe and Stable School site here.
…The Minneapolis NAACP supports the union’s push for higher ESP wages.
“This is unacceptable,” said Minneapolis NAACP president Cynthia Wilson. “Our ESPs need to be paid and our Black teachers need to be retained. Period.”
—Multiple studies have shown that educators of color can improve students’ performance. Black students see academic and graduation gains when paired with Black teachers.
In Minneapolis Public Schools, 63 percent of students are kids of color — closer to the percentage of Minneapolis ESPs than classroom teachers, nearly 80 percent of whom are white.
… The NAACP has a demand for the union, too: The association wants more protections from layoffs for teachers of color written in the contract.