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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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News from Representative Gruenhagne 03-06-2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dear Friends,

Yesterday the House passed one of our top education bills, House File 2 (HF2), a bill I worked on as a co-author. HF2 helps to empower school districts and improve student learning by ensuring that schools keep their most effective teachers in the unfortunate event of teacher layoffs.

We know that effective teachers are a critical component in student learning, and want schools to have the ability to retain their most effective teachers, not just their most senior teachers.

Our bill gives local school districts flexibility to determine other factors that can be considered in layoff situations, including seniority. We think this is a good compromise to ensure that districts that value seniority are still able to include it as part of their locally-negotiated criteria.

This bill also helps address Minnesota's teacher shortage by making it easier for out-of-state teachers to move to Minnesota. Our current system is convoluted and requires even the most qualified teachers to go through an extensive process to gain the same licenses they already obtained in their former state. We also want to make it easier for schools to use what's known as a variance to hire a community expert when they can't find a licensed teacher to fill the position.

Students should receive a well-rounded education and shouldn't miss out on a class or subject simply because schools can't find a licensed teacher, especially if a qualified community expert is available and willing to step up and teach the class.

These are just the first of our efforts this session to improve Minnesota's education system so every child can receive a world-class education. I will be sure to keep you updated on our efforts as session continues.

I wanted to pass along an interesting article I read in the Star Tribune. It was written by a member of the MNsure board, Tom Forsythe, who gives his thoughts on how to improve MNsure, and why MNsure has been such a debacle thus far.

You can read the editorial by clicking here.

Have a great weekend,


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