Springtime is On Its Way…so is New Life and New Legislation

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Springtime!  It’s almost here.  Can you feel it?  Okay – maybe not so much today since it is the coldest day since February 9th, 2017, but spring is indeed on its way. That means new life …and new legislation are on the way.  Hopefully writing this won’t turn away any of our blog fans (including Dr. Wendy), but it is purposeful.  It is meant to inform, which is part of our educonnections mission – “sharing about teaching, learning, leading, and life.” Eek! We can’t complain about laws and rules if we aren’t willing to be fully invested – to be engaged in our own story as it is being written. So here goes based on my humble understanding of government…

Currently, there are some legislative proposals that will impact educators.
A few highlights regarding MN legislation to consider:

There is a proposed change of governance in education. In the HF1079.0 Teacher Licensing and Standards bill in Article 1 Sec. 21 Transfer of Powers, “the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards board shall be considered a transfer by law of responsibilities of the Board of Teaching and Minnesota Department of Education with respect to licensure and credentialing of teachers and school personnel to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board for purposes of MN Statutes, section 15.039.” This is also in the Senate bill SCS0004A-4 Article 1, Section 19. MDE’s responsibilities regarding school administrators is to be transferred to the Board of School Administrators.

Student teaching may look different. Year-long student teaching experiences are included in proposed legislation. This may create hardships for teacher candidates, however. The specific rules on the implementation of this would be set by the proposed PELSB – Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.

Tiered licensure is part of both bills. Both bills propose allowing untrained teachers in the classroom, which may address the teacher shortage, but may not provide the best education for our learners. Tiered Licensure begins at line 23.7 in the Senate bill.
Tiered Licensure begins at line 33.7 in the House bill.

There is much more to consider both at the state and national levels. This is just a short summary of MN proposed legislation. Find out what is happening in your state, your nation. Be informed. We will try to be.

The complete bills are located at:
Senate bill
http://www.senate.mn/committees/2017-2018/3091_Committee_on_E-12_Policy/A-5%20S.F.%204.pdf
House bill
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?session=ls90&number=HF140&session_number=0&session_year=2017&version=list

Senator Eric Pratt, Chairperson of the Senate K-12 Education Policy committee and lead author of Senate File 04. Phone:
Email: sen.eric.pratt@senate.mn
Phone: 651-296-4123.

Representative Sondra Erickson, Chairperson of the House Education Innovation and Policy committee and lead author of House File 140.
Email: rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn
Phone: 651-296-6746.

Consider contacting your legislative representatives to share your support and concerns.

It is our responsibility to be engaged citizens. It is a choice, however, so you decide. Enjoy our freedom and make the most of it each day.

Stay Calm & Be Engaged!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

 

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