The lingering discussion over alternative teacher licensure appears to be finally coming to a head.
House and Senate Republican leaders sent a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton today making a final offer of compromise. They offered four changes in the bill, including a requirement that alternative licensed teacher candidates pass rigorous and subject-specific tests.
Both chambers have already passed similar bills. But Senate leaders have been holding onto the measure while waiting for further negotiations with the governor's office. The letter, delivered this morning, asks for a response by 5:00 p.m. Dayton is out of town, attending the National Governor's Association meeting.
If no agreement is reached, the Senate plans to take up the matter Monday and concur with the House version of the bill, which would then be sent to Dayton.
Earlier this week, Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, the chair of the Senate education committee, said she was getting mixed messages from the governor's office.
"I would like to pass a bill that the governor will sign, Olson said. "But I also am very firm that it should be a real alternative pathway, not a phony one."
Dayton's education commissioner, Brenda Cassellius, said earlier this week that she was still optimistic about an agreement.
"I'm feeling cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to come up with a compromise in which both sides really put children first and put the best teachers in front of our students," Cassellius said.
Here's the letter: alt licensure