Part II: Gov. Walz’s proposed education bill would reinstate licensure barriers

When I moved back to Minnesota in 2017, the legislature reformed the state’s teacher licensing system, streamlining the overly confusing, complex, and broken licensing process and opening up the teaching ranks to attract out-of-state educators and create different pathways to enter the profession to address the state’s teacher shortage.

But language in Gov. Tim Walz’s proposed education bill (H.F. 1269) would reinstate licensure barriers that would be “counterproductive in addressing workforce shortages,” according to Ed Allies policy director Matt Shaver.

Currently, educators with a Tier 2 license can qualify for a Tier 3 license through the “experience pathway,” which doesn’t force a teacher to complete a teacher preparation program if they have taught for at least three years with a Tier 2 license. H.F. 1269 removes this.

“The department [of education] considers this a shortcut for advancement and wants to shut it down,” reported Steve Abrams for the Session Daily.

“This pathway isn’t a loophole, it’s a promise,” continued Shaver. This provision “breaks that promise to Minnesota educators … that if they met the statutory qualifications for a Tier 2 license and taught effectively for three years they would earn their Tier 3 license.”

As I wrote here, this proposal adds to the list of provisions in Gov. Walz’s education policy bill that would take the state backward.