Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

It’s official: both the Senate and the House have passed the K-12 omnibus finance bill. On Wednesday it passed in the House with a 70-55 vote, and last night the Senate pushed it through with a 37-26 vote. Although important pre-K reforms were ultimately gutted from the bill, teacher effectiveness did make it in, taking Minnesota one step closer to building a system to make sure our classrooms are filled with great teachers.

But it’s not over yet.

While teacher effectiveness is included in the bill, Governor Dayton, unhappy with other, more controversial elements in the bill, has given every indication that he’ll be taking out his veto pen when the bill reaches his desk. If and when that happens, everyone will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out a compromise the legislature will pass and the governor will sign. But eventually a deal will have to be struck, and it’s up to us to make sure that deal includes a teacher evaluation system.

We’re down to the last, crucial moments of the 2011 regular session. The legislature must end on Monday night, or else go to a special session. That's why it's so important for you to take action.

To date over 600 people have written Governor Dayton and the legislative leadership urging them to make teacher effectiveness a part of the deal. But in the next few days, we want to bring that number to 1000. So please, take action and encourage your friends to do the same! By showing overwhelming public support for this commonsense policy, lawmakers will have no choice but to put political theatrics aside and work on actually getting it done.


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