A bill that would end seniority protections for teachers during layoffs cleared a critical House committee late Tuesday on a party line vote, 13-7, and will head to the House floor next.

H.F. 2, sponsored by Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, would require that school districts negotiate with their local teachers unions layoff procedures that would include teacher performance when making retention decisions. It would end the practice off laying off the least senior teachers first, currently the default system in Minnesota law. 

DFL lawmakers criticized the bill during debate on the measure, arguing that it would pit teachers against one another during teacher evaluations used in determining layoffs. No DFL representative voted in favor of Loon's bill. Education Minnesota, the statewide teachers union, argued it would also create costly legal challenges for districts if the measure becomes law. 

Loon's bill would also make it easier for out-of-state teachers to become licensed in Minnesota, a change the teachers union also opposed. 

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