MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Today MinnCAN applauded the Minnesota Legislature for passing the omnibus K-12 education bill recently negotiated by the governor and legislative leaders, sending the bill back to Gov. Dayton for his expected signature. On MinnCAN's top priority for the 2015 session, streamlining licensure for out-of-state teachers, the bill makes several meaningful and overdue changes, including:
- providing clarity and transparency to the Board of Teaching's process for reviewing out-of-state teachers' licensure applications;
- honoring “similar” out-of-state licenses;
- granting licensure to experienced out-of-state teachers without requiring that they complete redundant student teaching; and
- allowing school districts to retain effective educators who do not yet hold standard Minnesota teaching licenses.
“The bill that the House and Senate just passed will give experienced out-of-state teachers a fair and transparent path to the licenses they deserve and the Minnesota classrooms that need them,” said MinnCAN Executive Director Daniel Sellers. He continued, “This bill is supported by school leaders and teachers who have struggled–or are still struggling–to navigate our confusing licensure process. Once signed into law, the licensure reforms will make a big difference for educators, schools and students across the state. We're eager to see Gov. Dayton sign the bill and for the Board of Teaching and Department of Education implement these reforms quickly, thoroughly and transparently.”
MinnCAN also applauds several other elements of the education bill, including:
- an additional $48.25 million for early learning scholarships to help low-income children access high-quality early learning opportunities;
- a policy change to ensure that, during their clinical experience, student teachers are paired with effective and experienced mentor educators;
- a policy to cap student time spent on testing, coupled with the Legislature's decision to maintain the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments as an important assessment tool;
- a policy change to allow certain career and technical education courses to fulfill high school graduation requirements;
- an increase to the basic per pupil formula by 2 percent in 2016 and 2 percent in 2017; and
- changes to the Q Comp program, allowing more districts to participate and giving them greater flexibility to use funds to recruit and reward effective teachers in hard-to-staff-schools.
For more information, interviews with Daniel Sellers or interviews with educators who will benefit from this just-passed bill, contact MinnCAN Public Affairs Manager Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About MinnCAN: Launched in 2011, MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now is an education advocacy nonprofit. MinnCAN is a movement of nearly 12,000 Minnesotans–and growing–dedicated to creating the political will to enact smart public policies to ensure that every Minnesota child has access to a great public school. Learn more at www.minncan.org.