This week was largely focused on education. On Wednesday the governor delivered his annual State of the State Address. We all agree that job creation and education are top priorities.
During the 2011 session we were able to give professionals the opportunity to take their skills into Minnesota’s classrooms to teach our children. The knowledge they have gained throughout their professional careers are of great value to our students, and now through alternative teacher licensure, they can teach in our public schools. We also capped tuition increases for Minnesota’s students pursuing a degree in higher education.
House File 1870, bill would reform the Last In First Out policy in Minnesota. The last in, first out policy hinders students from being taught by great teachers. This bill would require a school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers to negotiate a plan to base unrequested leave of absence, discharge, and demotion decisions on teachers' subject matter licensure fields, their effectiveness, and their seniority. Seniority privileges should not trump student achievement. This bill passed the House on Thursday.
Another education bill that was passed off of the floor Thursday was in regards to Public Employee Insurance Program (PEIP). Right now, for example, the teachers’ union can force a School District to join PEIP, regardless of the relative cost of using PEIP or contracting with some provider. This bill would allow School Districts to have a say in that choice.
I believe that education in Minnesota must be successful for our future generations, because they are Minnesota’s future workforce. During the 2012 session I am committed to student achievement and educational success in Minnesota.
All of our reform bills can be tracked on the Reform 2.0 website www.reform2.mn