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Teacher license change nixed

ST. PAUL - Professionals who want to become teachers may not have an easy route to receive teaching licenses after a House committee Wednesday rejected the proposal.

The House K-12 Education Finance Division voted 11-10 to strip the provision from an overall education bill.

During earlier testimony, teachers told the committee that there is a difference between understanding how to do a job and teaching about it.

The provision, like one proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, would ease the path to teacher licenses in an attempt to attract professionals from many fields to education.

Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, said that too many teacher positions go vacant because there are not enough people to fill them. Some fields and some areas have an especially difficult time filing openings.

"We are looking for good standards to respond to very real needs," he said.

The Senate has a provision to the one Mariani promoted in the House, so the issue still could be part of discussion this legislative session.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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