With a strike vote looming, hundreds of St. Paul teachers rallied outside the St. Paul Public Schools headquarters before Tuesday's school board meeting.
Teachers, parents and students filled the parking lot holding signs demanding the district lower class sizes, hire more staff and reduce assessment testing. Those are the issues that teachers say they're willing to strike over as they continue negotiating their next two-year contract.
Teachers will vote whether to strike on Monday, Feb. 24, but more talks are scheduled Thursday, Feb. 20.
At the meeting, the school board tabled a resolution that lays out how the district will respond if teachers vote to strike next week.
In the event of a strike, the resolution states schools will close, non-essential employees could be laid off and the academic calendar might be extended.
Board director Mary Doran said tabling the resolution shows the district is serious about making progress in Thursday's contract talks.
"In good faith we're trying to show that we're coming to the table and we're really trying to get this done Thursday," said Doran.
Union officials said the move left them hopeful that teachers and the district could make progress during the talks and possibly avert a strike.
Teachers and the district have been in negotiations since May.