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Minnesota House Votes for New Teacher Layoff Rules

Minnesota State Capitol
Flickr user TBoard

ST. PAUL  (AP) – Despite opposition from Gov. Mark Dayton, the Minnesota House has voted to let schools lay off teachers based on their performance in the classroom and look beyond seniority in job-protection decision.

If the Senate passes the legislation as expected, Dayton has said he will veto the bill.

Thursday night’s vote was 70-61.

Current law says that schools must only consider teacher seniority when making layoffs, unless districts negotiate different local policies. Under the bill, schools would be able to weigh teacher evaluations before seniority in layoff decisions.

Supporters argue it aims to preserve the most effective teachers during staff downsizing.

Critics say the performance measurements are too new and too subjective to play such a big role in shaping layoffs. They have also called it an attack on collective bargaining.

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

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