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.
“Every child deserves a great education and high-quality teachers are a huge part of that,” said Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook. “This legislation will ensure local school districts and educators are able to negotiate agreements that can take into account all the important factors that impact student success. Local districts will be empowered to include these factors 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.