ST. PAUL  (AP) -- The influential state teachers union will release its recommendations for several education reforms, including for shrinking the achievement gap between affluent white students and less fortunate minority students.

Education Minnesota will also present its version of a state model for evaluating teachers and providing alternative paths for teacher licensing.

A similar licensing proposal backed by Republicans died in the past Legislative session and former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty blamed the union and its DFL allies.

Those allies are now in the minority and the union has lost some of its ability to block bills it opposes. However, it did support new Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)