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Measure upending teacher tenure an 'election ploy,' Dayton says

Posted by: under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: February 29, 2012 - 7:46 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday morning indicated that the measure upending teacher tenure rules, which will soon be on his desk, may not survive his veto pen.

"Right now, it looks to me frankly more like an election ploy than.. serious legislation," Dayton said on Minnesota Public Radio.

The proposal would end the "Last in, First out" system of lay-offs for public school teachers. Different versions have passed the House and Senate, both controlled by Republicans, and soon they could send a compromise measure to the governor.

Dayton, a Democrat, said that last year he signed into law a measure that would change how teachers and school principals are evaluated and it only makes sense to wait until that system is in place in 2015 to look at altering the lay off procedures. 

"I have to ask why now?" Dayton said on the radio. "We will know a lot more in a couple years and then we can make an intelligent decision."

Putting it off tenure changes until 2015 would extend the decision past the governor's current term.

Supporters say changing the tenure system would mean that factors other than simple seniority could be considered when making lay-off decisions. Taking teacher licensure and effectiveness into account could mean that better teachers could be retained if some teachers have to be let go, which would give children more successful schools.






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