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Supreme Court upholds student’s off-campus speech rights

When 14-year-old Brandi Levy was not selected for the 2017 Mahanoy Area High School varsity cheerleading team, she vented her frustration on every modern teen’s venue of choice: social media. From a convenience store, Levy expressed her dismay with a Snapchat photo of her flipping off the camera. Along with the photo was the caption,…

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Two new charter schools unionize with Education Minnesota

Two new charter schools unionize with Education Minnesota  The teachers and staff at Hiawatha Academies, a Minneapolis charter school network, and Great River School, a St. Paul charter school, both voted to unionize with Education Minnesota this June.   Both schools’ bargaining units will include teachers and most non-management school staff.  Great River and Hiawatha become…

Bloomington paras take contract fight public
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Bloomington paras take contract fight public

The Bloomington Federation of Paraprofessionals’ contract has been unsettled for more than two years. And after working during a pandemic, many of whom were on site providing essential child care from the start, the local union decided to take its negotiations fight public.  “Our members have gone through a lot,” said Bill Schwandt, the local union president….

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A loan forgiveness success story

Michelle Lieder, an elementary school physical education teacher in South Washington County, recently got a surprise in her bank account as student loan payments she had made for the last two years were returned to her as she completed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.  “I felt like I won the lottery,” Lieder said. “The…

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Student borrower bill of rights becomes law

Education Minnesota and its allies have been working on legislation that would protect and support those who take on education debt for years, and this year that effort turned into a new law—the Student Borrower Bill of Rights.  “Student loan borrowers like me need someone on our side to protect us from abuses by loan…

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Education budget, federal dollars, create equitable investments in Minnesota schools

Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature approved an education budget that includes the largest single increase in the per-pupil formula in 15 years, a meaningful step toward fully funding our public schools.   The Minnesota Senate passed the budget bill June 30 and the governor signed it hours later. The Minnesota House voted on it…

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Educators, local unions push back against attacks on honesty in education

Karen Rubado, a teacher and local union president in Pequot Lakes, knows exactly when a shift happened in her district.   The then-superintendent filmed a video for an event highlighting rural equity efforts and discussed how educators had gone through training from The SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) and his reasons for wanting to…

Munsterman wins NEA Distinguished Service Award
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Munsterman wins NEA Distinguished Service Award

Retired teacher and union leader Walt Munsterman was honored with the National Education Association’s 2021 Distinguished Service Award, the union’s highest honor.  “As I go back throughout the years, the NEA helped me become the individual I am today,” Munsterman said in his thank you remarks. “All the time and the trainings they spent made…

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Let’s join together for the future of public education

How would you know if you’re in an important historical moment?   It’s the sort of contemplative question you find around campfires and porches on summer nights.   After a few of those conversations with colleagues and friends, I believe we’re in one of those moments. And only a few people have noticed.  What we do together…

Educators share equity work in locals, districts
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Educators share equity work in locals, districts

Education Minnesota members who are focusing on racial equity and social justice work in their locals and districts shared their stories at a virtual live event on June 9, streamed and saved on Education Minnesota’s Facebook video page.    Sabrina Tapia of Prior Lake-Savage, Jenifer Stehr of Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Caroline Long of Minneapolis all shared…