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House File 1478 repeals “last in, first out” requirement for unrequested leaves of absence
ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Representative Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, that repeals the last in, first out (LIFO) requirement when school districts are forced to reduce staff. By removing this default in state statute, school districts and local bargaining units are open to explore alternative options in addition to seniority, helping keep the best teachers in the classroom. The legislation passed on a vote of 71-59.
“As we work to craft policies that bring new and more diverse educators into our classrooms, it is essential that we empower our schools and teachers with the opportunity to explore alternative retention policies that better serve our students, teachers and schools,” said Rep. Loon, Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “Next to parent involvement, effective teachers in the classroom have the greatest impact on student learning and success. This legislation will ensure our local school districts and educators negotiate mutually beneficial agreements that take into account important factors that impact student success when making difficult staff retention decisions.”
Currently, Minnesota is one of only six states where seniority is the sole factor in teacher retention decisions. The bill does not discourage seniority to be included as a factor, but opens up negotiations to include teacher effectiveness, evaluations and other criteria.
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