ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota State Senate has approved a two-year pay freeze for employees in Minnesota public and charter schools.

State Senator John Pederson of St. Cloud voted in favor of the bill. He says it will save thousands of teachers' jobs, and help stabilize school's budgets.

The bill also repeals an annual January 15th deadline for when a school district must reach a collective bargaining agreement with it's teachers, or face heavy fines.

State Senator Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville says the bill also removes several state mandates placed on school districts.

A companion bill is moving through the House.

The state teachers union opposes the bill.