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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update (3-6-15)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Aside from parental involvement, effective teaching is the most important factor in ensuring that children are academically successful. As lawmakers and individuals who are invested in the academic success of Minnesota’s children, we are committed to seeing that every student has the chance to reach their full potential.

On Thursday, House File 2 was debated and passed by the House. This bill gives school districts more flexibility to hire and retain teachers and returns decision-making to local principals, superintendents, and school boards.

HF 2 makes important changes to education policy in Minnesota by:

  • Increasing quality of teaching by focusing on merit in teacher retention policies, and limiting placement of students with ineffective teaching. This empowers school districts and local unions to negotiate solutions for teacher retentios. Seniority will still factor into staff retention decisions, but will no longer be the only factor.
  • Strengthening standards on new teacher licensure to ensure a firm foundation of academic skills.

  • Increasing access to quality teachers through out-of-state teacher license recognition, encouraging regional licensure reciprocity, streamlining alternative pathways to teaching, and reinstating other licensure options.

  • Empowering school districts to tap community experts to fill unmet needs to maintain or expand academic opportunities for students such as shop Ag classes.

Minnesota has great teachers and in order to maintain our state’s high level of academic achievement, we need to do our best to ensure that we continue to have the most effective teachers in our schools.

Attracting and retaining the best educators in Minnesota will benefit teachers, students, and our schools. It remains to be seen whether or not this bill will come for a vote in the Democrat controlled Senate. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that we will continue making meaningful reforms to Minnesota’s education system that will ensure that every student has the chance to receive a world class education.

Pro-Life Bill Heard in Committee

A number of pro-life bills were heard in the Health and Human Services Reform Committee this past week. As a member of this committee and a strong supporter of protecting the unborn, I was happy to support these bills.

House File 1047- amends existing law that requires medical professionals to take all reasonable measures to preserve the life and health of a child born alive as a result of an abortion.

House File 787- would ban state-sponsored health care funds from being used to pay for abortions, except when the woman’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy was a result of incest or rape which is still required due to a federal mandate.

University of Minnesota Regents Elected

Five seats on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents were filled on Wednesday night in a joint convention of the Legislature. The board is made up of members from each of the state’s eight Congressional Districts as well as four members who serve in at-large seats. Among the five new regents elected to the Board was an individual from Alexandria.

Thomas Anderson, who is a funeral home director in Alexandria, was elected on the first round of voting to serve as the representative to the Board from the seventh congressional district. Congratulations Mr. Anderson!

Staying Connected

As always, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.



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