Monday, May 15, 2017

Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board Conference Committee Completed.  The conference committee on HF 140--the bill that would create the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and implement a tiered-licensure framework for Minnesota teacher licenses--completed its work this morning and will now head to the House floor tomorrow.  There weren't a lot of changes made to the bill.  The House's recommendation of an 11-member board prevailed instead of the Senate's nine-member board, but the board's majority will be composed of teachers.  In addition to the six teachers, there will be one superintendent, one principal, one human resources director, one intermediate district or cooperative director, and one member of the general public.  There was late agreement reached on the definition of the Tier 1 license; the new license category that caused the most consternation.  That amendment was added today, so it is not reflected in the document that I have linked below.

One item that hasn't received a lot of attention but is absolutely crucial is the decision by the conference committee to include language that would eliminate the requirement that teachers holding the Academic and Behavioral Specialist (ABS) special education license return to school to receive an "anchor" license in a specific disability category in order to retain their ABS license.  This unnecessary requirement threatened to chase a lot of young teachers out of the profession as the cost of obtaining an additional license could prove to be prohibitive.  The conference committee report also calls for a study of Minnesota's special education licensure framework in hopes of finding ways to provide districts with greater flexibility while maintaining high quality services to children with disabilities.

Here is a link to the bill's language before four amendments were added today.  The amendment that was most substantive pertains to the Tier 1 license.  I will post the final report when it becomes available.

In the meantime, here is the language for the remainder of the legislation:  HF 140 Base Language

The Big Picture.  The Governor stated today that he wants little, if any, policy in the final budget agreement.  There is not a lot of policy in the E-12 bill, but several other omnibus funding bills have a number of policy changes that the Governor opposes.  Negotiations will be resuming tomorrow as Tim Pugmire has reported on the MPR website.  Here is a link to that article:  Dayton, GOP set to resume budget talks

Here's a story from Brian Bakst on what to look for in the last week of the session:  Big bills, little time: what to watch for in the session's last week

More '80's Music!  There is the dancing of politics, and then there's "The Politics of Dancing" by the band Re-Flex (not to be confused with the song "The Reflex" by Duran Duran) from 1984.  Classic dance groove by a band with some big-time mullets.

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