For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
Saint Paul, Minn. – Tonight the Minnesota House passed a bill (HF 1478) to change statewide policies for laying off E-12 teachers on a 71-59 vote. No Democrats voted for the bill. State Representative Carlos Mariani (DFL – St. Paul) issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed Republicans would seek to make it easy to get rid of good teachers. We all remember our favorite teacher and know the positive impact a good teacher can make. So why would Republicans’ first education priority this session be to attack teacher protections? What they should focus on instead is properly funding our schools – something they proposed not to do two years ago – so that we don’t have lay-offs of teachers.
“We have a teacher shortage in Minnesota that we must urgently work to address, taking away teacher protections won’t help solve the problem. Reducing teacher protections will almost certainly make our teacher shortage worse, especially in rural districts.
“Minnesota has a strong teacher evaluation system, so the argument that the least effective teachers are protected by seniority is false. Taking away teacher protections will not provide our schools with more resources, and it won’t make the profession of teaching more appealing to young people.
“This is another Republican anti-worker bill. First we had preemption, which attacks benefits and wages. Now, HF 1478 attacks our teachers. Who’s next?”