Advocates Praise and Renew Commitment to Teacher Licensure Changes in HF2
May 31, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS, MN-Today, EdAllies applauded the passage of HF2 into law, ushering in an overhaul of the state’s teacher licensure system after Gov. Dayton’s signature last night. The policy changes in HF2 mark the resolution of a years-long debate, and were arrived at through extensive rounds of hearings, work groups, and public dialogue. The overhaul follows a 2016 report from the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor calling Minnesota’s current teacher licensure system “broken,” years of public outcry from frustrated educators, and a district court finding the Minnesota Board of Teaching in contempt for failing to implement state statute.
Building off of recommendations from the OLA, as well as recommendations unanimously adopted by a bipartisan legislative study group in summer 2016, HF2 will:
- implement a straightforward and transparent tiered licensure model that clarifies and raises standards and offers increasing levels of professional recognition based on experience and training;
- elevate the bar for entry into the profession by setting a floor for emergency licenses where there currently is none;
- create a fair and understandable path to licensure for experienced out-of-state educators; and
- establish a new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, with a direct line of accountability to the governor.
The licensure overhaul was originally passed as the stand-alone bill HF140, which Gov. Dayton vetoed. After asking for specific funding and policy changes, he and legislative leaders reached a final agreement, included in HF2. Although Gov. Dayton signed HF2 last night, he also asked to “re-open and re-negotiate” the teacher licensure changes in a letter to legislative leaders. Whether or not the Legislature decides to negotiate further with Gov. Dayton, educators and advocates will continue to push for the preservation and proper implementation of the licensure changes in HF2, already the result of extensive negotiation.
“This licensure overhaul has been in the works for years. Policymakers started looking at this issue after hearing again and again that experienced educators were being pushed out of the profession, and that schools were facing bureaucratic barriers to hiring great teachers. The changes in HF2 received bipartisan support in the Legislature and will benefit teachers and school leaders across the state,” said EdAllies Executive Director Daniel Sellers.
He continued, “Under HF2, educators from a variety of backgrounds—whether out-of-state, unconventional, or traditional teacher preparation—will have clear, reasonable pathways to the licenses they need and the classrooms that need them. HF2 is a comprehensive, thoughtful compromise which fixes our state’s broken teacher licensure system. Maintaining our current system is frankly unacceptable. Regardless of what happens in the coming days, weeks, and months, we will continue to partner with the countless teachers, school leaders, and state leaders who have worked together for years to advance the bipartisan solutions in HF2.”
For more information, an interview with Daniel Sellers, or interviews with educators supportive of the licensure changes in HF2, contact EdAllies Strategic Communications Director Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About EdAllies: EdAllies partners with schools, families, and communities to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to a rigorous and engaging education. We advance policies that put underserved students first, remove barriers facing successful schools and programs, and foster an inclusive conversation about what’s possible for students.