Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alternative pathways to teaching proposal accepted; U.S. Congress passes continuing budget resolution

Yesterday at the Capitol

A six-member conference committee adopted a report yesterday on alternative pathways to becoming a licensed teacher after they reached consensus with Gov. Mark Dayton earlier. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the bill this week and send it to the governor for signature.

Under the measure, alternative licensure candidates who meet all criteria would be granted a two-year limited license, which the Board of Teaching may renew for an additional year. Candidates must have a 3.0 or higher grade-point average or a waiver from the Board; pass basic reading, writing and math skills exams; and obtain qualifying scores on board-approved content and pedagogy exams.

Opponents of the bill have said allowing teachers without traditional educational training, including 10 weeks of student teaching supervised by a licensed teacher, will compromise the quality of teaching.

In Washington, the U.S. House passed a continuing resolution yesterday by a vote of 335-91, that avoids a government shutdown for two weeks. With House Republicans approving a bill earlier that would cut $61 billion from programs and agency budgets over the remaining months of the 2011 fiscal year, the House needed to pass a continuing resolution with March 4 drawing near, that buys them more time given the strong opposition to the bill by the Democratic Senate and the President. Over the next two weeks, leaders in both the House and Senate, as well as the White House, will attempt to negotiate a bill that keeps government running through September 30.

Today at the Capitol

10:30 AM
Senate Jobs and Economic Growth
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Geoff Michel
Agenda: Budget Overview from MN Housing Finance Agency/Commissioner Mary Tingerthal
Budget Overview from DEED/Commissioner Mark Phillips

3:00 PM
Senate Higher Education
Room: 107 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Michelle L. Fischbach
Agenda: Presentations from student and faculty groups from the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
S.F. 325-Hann: MNovate commission to provide leadership for the creation of new and innovative models of public schools and schooling establishment.
S.F. 289-Limmer: School finance capital expenditure health and safety revenue program modifications; health and safety policy.
S.F. 95-Bonoff: Independent school district #284, Wayzata; alternative facilities revenue program eligibility.
S.F. 315-Olson, G.: School lease levy authority modification.

Looking Ahead

Thursday, March 3

8:15 AM
House Education Reform
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
Agenda: HF464 (Norton) Teacher collective bargaining agreement deadline and process changed.
HF339 (Kelly) Teacher employment contracts negotiation process identified.
Presentation: Career and Technical Education in the 21st Century (continued) Presenter: Mike Mieron

8:30 AM
Senate Taxes
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Julianne E. Ortman
Dynamic Scoring Presentations and Discussion
Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, CATO Institute
John Spry, University of St. Thomas
Paul Wilson, Research Director, MN Department of Revenue
February 2011 Forecast Presentation
Commissioner Jim Showalter
State Economist Tom Stinson

11:00 AM
Senate in Session

12:30 PM
House Higher Education Policy and Finance
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Bud Nornes
HF717 (Abeler) Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system credit transfer required.
MnSCU Report to the Legislature: 'Improving Transfer of Credit'
Mayo Medical School Overview/Presentation
HF378 (Scott) Graduate education study required in for-profit sector

12:30 PM
House Education Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Pat Garofalo
Agenda: HF355 (Kiffmeyer) Home school mandates reduced, and superintendents relieved of reporting requirements.
Early Learning Task Force Report

3:00 PM
House in Session

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