MSBA Responds to E-12 Bill Signed into Law
June 1, 2017
Minnesota School Boards Association is pleased Governor Dayton signed the E-12 Education Bill (H.F. 2) yesterday.
E-12 will now receive 2 percent on the per pupil formula each year, as promised and fought for by many legislators. Early education programing and solutions to teacher shortage will benefit our earliest learners to high school students both rural and urban. Additionally, teacher licensure will take a positive step forward in fixing the broken and confusing teacher licensure system identified over one year ago by the Office of Legislative Auditor.
With some of the recent developments, we want to share with MSBA members why we supported the bill. We thought it may be helpful to you to review some of the history and our efforts to support the important component of teacher licensure. We are attaching a video of a press conference held before the session ended, where Governor Dayton and leaders were encouraged to continue negotiating teacher licensure provisions the E-12 Education Bill.
MN School Boards Association believes this is, or has the potential to be, the biggest teacher licensure reform bill in decades. This bill captures the essence of what our local school boards, districts, potential teachers, State Auditor, legislators have long identified as issues in Minnesota. It is extremely important we get this work to come to completion to benefit our teacher workforce in the future and ensure every student has a high-quality teacher in the classroom.
We look forward to to working with Governor Dayton and legislators again next year to further efforts in reducing teacher shortage. Attached is testimony provided in a joint press conference leading up to the end of session.
"As school board members, we watched and we were involved in this journey for the last year. This bill has been thoroughly vetted. There were study groups, 45 iterations, 25 meetings and more than 1,000 hours of discussions. School boards, along with other education organizations were not only present, but had multiple opportunities to provide feedback; which we all did. In fact, there was very little opposition to the bill, until the 11th hour. The entire process was transparent and public.
This is an opportunity. The bill was never intended “fix” to the teacher shortage issue. What it does do, is provide a clear pathway to teacher licensure. A great start to solving a very real and complex issue. The solution needs to be multi-faceted and this bill is one piece of a solution.
Some have said this bill weakens the process of licensure. The tiered-system streamlines and clarifies required teacher qualifications at each level. This bill strengthens the system – one of the new requirements is for teachers to be a part of a licensing system where they are mentored and evaluated.
A provision school boards, especially those in rural Minnesota, need is the flexibility provided in Tier-1. Districts often need to hire qualified candidates in hard to fill areas such as CTE or other content areas.
School boards, superintendents, administrators, human resource directors, and special education administrators are all responsible for hiring decisions in our school districts. A responsibility we all take very seriously, because we know a high-quality teacher is a vital component to student success.
The chairs worked tirelessly and collaboratively to put together a bill that was bi-partisan. Our organizations have worked collaboratively to provide support and input to this bill. After hours of testimony, involvement in discussions and compromise, this bill deserves to be renegotiated and signed."