ST. PAUL  (AP) - The Minnesota Senate has passed a bill that would let schools lay off teachers based on performance.

The bill passed in a 36-26 vote. It would let school districts make layoff decisions based on teacher evaluations that consider student performance. Current state law requires that schools only consider teacher seniority.

Sen. Pam Wolf, a Republican who sponsored the bill, says it lets schools keep the most effective teachers.

Conversely, Mary Broderick, president of the St. Cloud Education Association, says she feels the bill is unnecessary and has potentially negative consequences.

Democrats expressed concern that the right evaluation tools are not in place. They said a state teacher evaluation system being developed needs more time.

The House passed a similar bill earlier this month.

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