ST. PAUL (AP) - Less than a week after U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan scolded Minnesota for not having more ways for talented people to become teachers, a state House committee approved a bill that would do just that.

On a split vote, the House Education Finance Committee on Thursday forwarded a bill sponsored by Rep. Patrick Garofalo, a Republican from Farmington.

His bill would make it possible for the first time for a local applicant to get a license through an organization other than a Minnesota college or university, provided it was approved by the state.

It would also reduce the amount of required supervised student teaching time from about 10 weeks to about five weeks. Both provisions would make it easier for Teach for America to expand its presence in the state.

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