Updated: March 11, 2020 06:36 PM
Created: March 11, 2020 06:01 PM
Striking educators held a rally in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday. Thousands of supporters showed up.
"I have seen firsthand in this last year what it's going to take to make St. Paul a place where everyone has what they need to succeed, and there is so much work we have to do as a community to support our families," said St. Paul City Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
The group then made its way through the streets, closing down major roads like Kellogg Boulevard and Seventh Street as they marched, chanting and holding strike signs.
Educators told KSTP they want more mental health professionals in their buildings.
"For the first time in the four years I have been at this school, I don't feel like I have enough of me to support our students' needs because they are just becoming more intense," said St. Paul Public Schools social worker Marisa Priess.
But the district said fulfilling all of the union's requests is just too expensive. The district held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to address what's going on and why some workers are receiving layoff notices stating if the strike continues, their last day of employment will be on March 23.
"The district's hope is that both parties can come together to settle contracts before layoffs are necessary," said Kenyatta McCarty, with the district.
"We must prioritize our spending. We have limited resources and we need to place new investments where they are needed most," added Kevin Burns, with SPPS.
As of late Wednesday, no new talks were scheduled.
You can watch the district's news conference below.
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