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RELEASE: Baker Introduces Bill Providing Innovative Solution to Address Teacher Shortage

Thursday, February 2, 2023

St. Paul, MN–State Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, introduced legislation today that would allow local school boards, not the Minnesota Department of Education, to decide if a school district wants to move to a 4-day week. As things currently stand, modified schedules need to be approved by the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Education. House File 1242 would let local districts, through their elected school boards, make that decision.

“School leaders are struggling with teacher shortages, and those I have met with say that this bill could be a productive way to recruit and retain educators,” said Baker. “There are school districts around the state that are already doing this with tremendous support from parents and the communities they serve while maintaining high test scores. To be clear, this would not work for every school district and every community, but it is important to give local boards the freedom to pursue these changes if they determine it would benefit their students. Addressing the teacher shortage requires more than just increased education spending, we need to look at innovative solutions to make sure that every Minnesota student has access to a world-class education.”

The bill has been referred to the House Education Policy Committee where it awaits its first hearing.