MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Today Daniel Sellers, executive director of MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, released the following statement in response to Saturday’s floor vote on H.F. 844, the House education omnibus bill, which includes language to streamline licensure for out-of-state teachers, recognizing their professional experiences in other states:
“While we’re disappointed that H.F. 844 does not provide more funding for education, we’re thrilled that the House has advanced several important policies and, in particular, taken a step toward giving experienced out-of-state teachers a clear and reasonable path to their Minnesota licenses. With growing teacher shortages and nation-trailing achievement gaps, Minnesota can no longer afford to deter great educators with bureaucracy and red tape, and must instead ensure that our students have access to the best educators possible.
“We’re seeing calls to streamline Minnesota’s licensure process extend beyond the Capitol. In early April, four brave teachers licensed out-of-state filed a complaint in Ramsey County against the Board of Teaching, alleging that its standards are unclear and inconsistently applied and that the board fails to honor teachers’ professional experience in other states. Last week, six more impacted educators joined the lawsuit, and we continue to hear daily from frustrated out-of-state teachers who have struggled, or are still struggling, to navigate Minnesota’s opaque licensing process. This all demonstrates the widespread impacts of a broken system, and proves that our Legislature must act this session to give out-of-state educators a fair path to the Minnesota classrooms where they’re needed.”
In regards to out-of-state teacher licensure, H.F. 844 would:
- Require the Board of Teaching to consider out-of-state licenses in “similar” (as defined by the board) content fields and areas. Currently, licenses must be in the “same” content fields and areas, making it difficult for licensing agencies to honor licenses covering similar—but not identical—fields and scopes, or to consider how a license would be used.
- Require that the BoT establish criteria and streamlined procedures for out-of-state teacher licensure by January 1, 2016.
- Require the BoT to outline exactly what a teacher candidate must do to become eligible to gain licensure. Currently, instead of making such determinations, the BoT can defer out-of-state candidates to for-profit Minnesota teacher preparation programs. The current system results in many out-of-state teachers being advised—by for-profit programs, not the BoT—to complete expensive and redundant coursework.
For more information or interviews with Daniel Sellers, 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.