ST. PAUL  (AP) - The House has passed a bill that would let schools consider teacher performance in making layoff decisions.

State law currently requires that seniority be the only consideration in teacher layoffs. The bill moves to weigh teacher evaluations relating to student performance into those decisions.

Lawmakers passed the bill Thursday 68-61.

Republicans say the measure would help keep the most effective teachers in Minnesota classrooms.

Democrats were concerned about how the evaluations would be handled. Some Democrats have said the bill is an attack on teacher tenure. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen says the bill missed the point because it did nothing to address underfunded schools.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)