Gov. Dayton will veto teacher tenure reform legislation

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Dayton thinks the tenure reform bill about to reach his desk is premature.
Republican sponsors of a bill mandating that teacher layoffs be determined primarily by merit acknowledged today that the bill won't escape the veto pen of Gov. Mark Dayton.

The governor met privately with bill sponsors this morning. He reportedly told them he's concerned that tenure reform is tied to a new teacher evaluation system that won't be developed until 2014.

Dayton told Republicans he shares the goal of getting the best possible teachers in Minnesota classrooms, but said he's concerned that teachers have been demoralized by the raft of "anti-public education and anti-teacher" legislation being pushed by the MNGOP.

Said Dayton: Teachers "feel like they're doing their best, but they get little credit or recognition."
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Polls indicate a solid majority of Minnesotans support tenure reform.

Teachers and Education Minnesota may not support tenure reform, but polls show a vast majority of Minnesotans do. A survey published late last month revealed 90-plus-percent, bipartisan support among Minnesotans for reform allowing teachers and principals to be hired, fired, and paid based on the academic progress of their students.

Sen. Pam Wolf, R-Spring Lake Park, tenure reform sponsor and a teacher herself, mentioned the poll while making remarks following today's meeting.

"If 80 percent of Minnesotans want this and [Dayton] wants to say no, that's his prerogative," she said.

Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover and House sponsor of the bill, said he doubts teachers will be any more supportive of tenure reform even after the new evaluation system is in place.

"If [Dayton] thinks the union isn't going to oppose this bill in four years after the teacher evaluation system is in place, he's kidding himself," Petersen said.

Related:
-- MN Senate passes bill mandating teacher layoffs be determined by merit, not tenure
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