Archive for the ‘Reforms’ Category
True to their waste-aholic history, the DFL legislature voted against government accountability:
A commission designed to judge whether state agencies, councils or boards have outlived their usefulness may itself cease to exist.
The Democratic-controlled House and Senate have voted to abolish the Sunset Advisory Commission, a 12-member commission championed by Republicans as offering greater accountability and efficiency in state government.
“I think they’re (Democrats) scared,” Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, said of taking tough votes on the commission.
A product of 2011 legislation, the Sunset Advisory Commission is patterned after a 30-year-old commission in Texas, one billed as having saved the Lone Star State almost $1 billion at a cost of about $33 million.
Minnesota’s Sunset Commission reviews state agencies and recommends whether a given agency should continue to exist.
Rep. Peppin is right. DFL legislators don’t want to vote on wasteful spending. DFL legislators don’t want to admit that their pet agencies, councils and panels are actually patronage positions.
The DFL is spinning their vote:
The idea of duplication was voiced by another commission member, Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park. “One of the tasks of the sunset commission is to get rid of duplicative government functions,” he said. There’s already the Office of the Legislative Auditor.
Why have both? Nelson asks.
Rep. Nelson, we need both because it’s apparent that there’s a ton of bloat in state government, things that the OLA hasn’t discussed.
As for Rep. Nelson’s assertion of duplication, I’d love hearing his explanation on what it’s duplicating. I’d love hearing him cite the times when the OLA has recommended the sunsetting of a commission, panel or council.
Sen. Bonoff’s statement needs ridiculing:
Bonoff, like other Democrats, argues the commission is itself duplicative. “If committee chairs are doing their jobs, they should be doing this kind of detailed oversight,” she said.
There’s a simple explanation for Sen. Bonoff: the chairs have never gotten into this type of detailed oversight. The Sunset Advisory Commission would’ve been a great tool that forced the legislature to deal with commissions, councils and panels that outlived their usefulness.
Furthermore, does any thinking person think that the DFL would investigate the importance or relevance of these hideouts for their political cronies? Let’s get serious. When Keith Downey proposed reducing the state workforce by 15% by not replacing retiring workers, Eliot Seide accused him of waging war “against working families.” What DFL legislator will vote for sunsetting these commissions, councils or panels knowing that they’ll get primaried by an AFSCME-endorsed candidate?
That’s why the Commission is essential.
Finally, this DFL legislature has repeatedly proven that they oppose accountability. The GOP legislature passed a bill that required teachers to pass a basic skills test, which Gov. Dayton signed. The DFL wants to repeal that law. The GOP legislature passed the Sunset Advisory Commission, which Gov. Dayton signed. The DFL legislature just voted to repeal that essential accountability legislation. Will Gov. Dayton reverse himself & say no to government accountability? If he does, he should prepare for getting labeled as a) a hypocrite, b) a cheap politician who does what’s popular, not what’s right and c) the unions’ puppet, not the public’s servant leader.
This week, the DFL legislature voted for higher pay for themselves, higher taxes on the middle class and less accountability within government. I don’t think that’s the bumper sticker they’ll want to deal with in 2014.
Tags: Terry Bonoff, Mike Nelson, Tom Bakk, Paul Thissen, Mark Dayton, Eliot Seide, AFSCME Council 5, Public Employee Unions, Cronyism, DFL, Sunset Advisory Commission, Accountability, Government Oversight, Reforms, MNGOP
MN2020, the progressive think tank run by former DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza, is defending Gov. Dayton’s budget:
Minnesota 2020, a progressive think tank that defends Minnesota’s tradition of higher taxes and higher spending, has released a new report suggesting those raw figures are seriously misleading.
Adjust for inflation and the ups and downs in state general fund spending caused by accounting shifts and federal stimulus funding in previous budget cycles and the numbers show a different picture: $40.6 billion in spending in 2002-03, $35.4 billion in the current budget, $35.7 billion in the upcoming budget if Dayton gets his way, and $37 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars for 2016-17.
Even if the governor, who wants to raise income taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to support higher spending, is able to enact his entire budget, less than a third of the real-dollar cuts of the past decade would be restored, said Jeff Van Wychen, director of tax policy for Minnesota 2020.
“These cuts are eroding Minnesota’s fiscal foundation and they need to be reversed,” said Van Wychen during a press conference in St. Peter, one of three held by the organization in southern Minnesota Tuesday.
Van Wychen’s alarmist rhetoric should be ignored. When Andy Aplikowski wrote this post, he highlighted the DFL’s habit of saying one thing, then doing another. Here’s the Pi-Press article Andy highlighted:
Following a hush-hush courtship, top Minnesota lawmakers acknowledged Tuesday, April 16, that they are compiling a multimillion-dollar package of public subsidies and tax breaks to encourage an Illinois-based pharmaceutical firm to add 200 high-paying jobs and undertake a substantial construction project in their state.
The extent of the public offerings is becoming known months into a high-level recruitment. The name of the company, Baxter Healthcare Corp., had been constrained by a confidentiality agreement entered into by Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration. Even lawmakers who have begun voting on the package didn’t know which firm would benefit.
In other words, the Dayton administration is fine with cutting taxes if they’re picking the winners and losers. This proves that the Dayton administration isn’t that worried with “the rich” paying “their fair share” as long as cutting taxes on corporations creates jobs. The DFL won’t admit that they’d be better off cutting taxes across the board and letting companies flourish.
Whether it’s the DFL or their political allies like MN2020, they simply won’t admit that they’re hurting Minnesota’s economy with their high tax, high regulation economic agenda.
This is yet another admission that the DFL’s legislative agenda doesn’t lead to creating jobs. The only time the DFL’s economic agenda creates jobs is when they throw their legislation out the window.
Van Wychen’s talk about inflation-adjusted budget figures quietly avoids talking about the money that’s appropriated that’s totally wasted on foolishness. It’s a clever tactic to ignore a real problem by talking about something that isn’t a problem. Inflation-adjusted budgets assume, incorrectly, that a) government operations can’t and haven’t been improved and b) every penny appropriated in 2002 was spent efficiently.
It’s foolish to think that every penny of any biennial budget was spent on something we need and was spent efficiently. That’s like believing that businesses can’t grow without the government’s assistance.
The bottom line on these discussions is that a) the Dayton administration just admitted that his economic policies don’t work and b) budgets should be based on spending money efficiently on the things we need, not what special interests want. On that count, the DFL is 0-for-2.
Each week, different proof appears that the DFL is intent on eliminating the GOP’s reforms. Months ago, I wrote about the DFL’s attack on teacher accountability, aka HF0171. HF0171 would repeal the basic skills test for teachers that Gov. Dayton signed last year. This week, I wrote about the DFL’s attempt to eliminate the Sunset Advisory Commission.
If the DFL would put forward a good faith effort on reforming government, the Commission would be a great tool for increasing government accountability. In some instances, the Commission would force agencies to justify their existence. In other cases, it would force the agency to justify their staffing and funding levels.
First, why won’t the DFL explain who wrote the bill that would eliminate the basic skills test for teachers? Requiring teachers and applicants to pass such a test isn’t revolutionary. It’s sensible. Why, then, did the DFL write legislation that would eliminate that requirement? They aren’t doing it “for the children” because they’re the first people it’d shortchange. Their parents and other taxpayers are the next people this legislation would shortchange.
It isn’t a stretch to think that EdMinn wrote this legislation because it’s their job to protect union members. If EdMinn wrote that legislation, why isn’t Rep. Ward representing his constituents, not EdMinn? Perhaps Rep. Ward thinks that EdMinn is his constituent and that he doesn’t have to represent the people living in his district.
Second, why is the DFL insisting on eliminating a great tool for increasing government accountability and transparency? Without the Sunset Commission, government oversight doesn’t exist. As recently as last year, the DFL threw a hissy fit when Republicans sought to make government more efficient. They accused the GOP of “waging war against working families.” Eliot Seide held a press availability in which he got exceptionally agitated.
He talked about how Republicans hated “working families” because they questioned whether state agencies, commissions, councils and panels had outlived their usefulness or had expanded themselves beyond their original charter. The Commission’s purpose was to examine these entities, then tell the legislature whether they were still doing what they were created to do and whether that mission was still important.
We know that the DFL doesn’t believe in oversight because they rejected that notion in 2007. That’s when they insisted that spending should be adjusted for inflation. In the DFL’s thinking, once an appropriation is made, it should increase by the rate of inflation in the future.
Another GOP reform required the Minnesota Department of Revenue to factor federal taxes into their annual tax incidence report. Minnesota is one of a tiny handful of states that didn’t do that. Gov. Dayton signed that legislation into law. Now he’s signed it out of existence after the DFL legislature voted to repeal that requirement.
This year’s report had been prepared but it hadn’t been released. That report included federal taxes. The DFL moved quickly, eliminating the federal taxes requirement. The new tax incidence report doesn’t include federal taxes. First, the new report doesn’t give an accurate picture of Minnesota’s taxes. Second, it means that all the time that went into preparing the first report was for nothing.
Is that the type of government efficiency Minnesotans deserve? I’d argue it isn’t. I’d argue that that’s the type of waste that must be eliminated.
While we’re on the subject of taxes, let’s talk about the fact that the DFL isn’t committed to a progressive tax system. I’ll stipulate that they’re great advocates of progressive taxation during campaigns. That’s as far as it goes, though. Then-Candidate Dayton argued passionately for a more progressive taxation system during his campaign. In 2010, he criticized Tom Horner for supporting increases to the alcohol and cigarette taxes:
you’re in favor of raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, another regressive tax. So the difference between us is I want to raise taxes on the rich, and you want to raise taxes on sportsmen and women and and middle income working families.
This year, Gov. Dayton’s objections to increasing taxes on alcohol and cigarettes disappeared, most likely because he needs the revenues to increase the size and intrusiveness of state government.
Tags: Mark Dayton, Tax Incidence Report, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Tax Increases, Cigarette Tax, Liquor Tax, Tom Horner, K-12 Education, John Ward, Education Minnesota, DFL, Sunset Advisory Commission, King Banaian, Keith Downey, Pat Garofalo, Accountability, Reforms, MNGOP
A basic requirement of governors and presidents is their ability to put budgets together. President Obama seems incapable of putting a budget together, at least one that people don’t laugh at. Gov. Dayton’s proposed budgets have been disasters by any measurement.
President Obama’s budgets haven’t gotten a single vote in the House or Senate since the 2010 midterm elections. Democrats treated them like toxic waste. When a president can’t get a single vote from his party on his budgets in more than 2 years, that’s a pretty good indicator he didn’t put a serious budget together.
Similarly, Gov. Dayton’s budgets haven’t been taken seriously, probably because they’ve both been radically modified after their initial submission. In 2011, Gov. Dayton insisted on creating one of the top tax rates in the nation at 10.95%. Not only that but he insisted on a 3% income tax surcharge for people making $1,000,000 a year.
When the February forecast dropped the projected deficit from $6,200,000,000 to $5,030,000,000, Gov. Dayton immediately dropped the 3% income tax surcharge. After Gov. Dayton shut down the state government during a temper tantrum, he finally agreed to a budget that didn’t raise taxes but did reform government while creating tens of thousands of jobs.
This year, Gov. Dayton submitted a budget that included another income tax increase, this time to 9.85%. Gov. Dayton’s budget also included a cigarette tax increase that will hurt retailers and a sales tax increase that would’ve drained $2,100,000,000 from Minnesotans’ wallets, including teenage babysitters and kids mowing lawns. Gov. Dayton reportedly thought that kids weren’t paying their fair share.
Now that the deficit projection dropped from $1,100,000,000 in December to $627,000,000 at the end of February, proof that the GOP’s budget was working, Gov. Dayton dropped his regressive sales tax increases. (Perhaps someone explained that taxing babysitters was a disastrous political move?) Instead, Gov. Dayton is rumored to be thinking about raising the tax on liquor sales.
Whether that’s true or not, it’s apparent that Gov. Dayton’s budget will need major revisions. Think of it as Gov. Dayton’s second mulligan budget. There’s little doubt that the DFL, ABM and the Twin Cities media will spin this as Gov. Dayton being flexible and listening to ‘the people’.
Don’t be fooled with that BS. Myron Frans spent 18 months travelling the state, allegedly talking with small businesses about their concerns with Minnesota’s tax policies. This Dayton budget was supposedly the result of all that travel and those consultations.
If that’s the case, then only two conclusions can be reached. Either Frans didn’t listen to businesses or the entrepreneurs he allegedly met with lied to him about their biggest worries about tax policy. It’s unlikely that the entrepreneurs lied to Frans. Likewise, it isn’t likely these entrepreneurs told him that cigarette and sales tax increases would strengthen their businesses or Minnesota’s economy.
Thus, the only logical conclusion people should draw from Gov. Dayton’s tax proposals were predetermined before Frans set out on his listening tour.
That isn’t the way to reform Minnesota’s tax system. It isn’t the way to put a serious budget together.
Tags: President Obama, Federal Budget, Mark Dayton, All-Tax Budget, Tax Increases, Income Tax Surcharge, Income Tax, Cigarette Tax, Sales Tax, Babysitters, Deficits, ABM, DFL, Reforms, Job Creation, Surplus, MNGOP
During this morning’s @Issue With Tom Hauser, DFL strategist Darin Broton admitted what savvy people had been thinking. There isn’t a political appetite for Gov. Dayton’s budget. Specifically, there’s a revolt against his sales tax increase, especially Gov. Dayton’s B2B sales tax increases and Gov. Dayton’s sales tax on services.
Once the budget deficit projection shrunk from $1,100,000,000 to $627,000,000, a 43% drop, DFL legislators couldn’t justify Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increases. After Gov. Dayton admitted that his sales tax initiative didn’t have the public’s support, it was just a matter of time before Gov. Dayton would be forced to admit that his entire budget would have to be scrapped.
Gov. Dayton’s budgetting abilities are questionable at best. During the 2010 campaign, he submitted his “detailed budget plan” to the Minnesota Department of Revenue 3 times. Each time, the Department of Revenue said his plan didn’t balance Minnesota’s budget. His last proposal came closest to balancing. The Department of Revenue said that plan ‘only’ had a $1,000,000,000 deficit.
In 2011, Gov. Dayton proposed massive tax increases, including a top income tax bracket of 10.95% and a 3% surcharge for people making $1,000,000 or more. When the deficit forecast was revised down from $6,200,000,000 to $5,030,000,000, Gov. Dayton immediately dropped the income tax surcharge. Eventually, the GOP majority forced him to drop his tax increases.
When Gov. Dayton submitted this biennium’s budget, it included the aforementioned sales tax increases on babysitters and lawnmowers as well as on business services. It also included a cigarette tax increase that will create an underground economy that hurts retailers. Gov. Dayton’s budget also includes raising the top individual income tax rates.
By the time Gov. Dayton delivered his State of the State address, he inadvertantly admitted that the GOP budget and reforms were working. He said that 72,000 jobs had been created under his watch, though he didn’t admit that they weren’t created as a result of his budget.
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Dayton was distancing himself from his budget faster than a man his age should be able to move. Here’s where the backpedalling started:
My proposals have already aroused considerable controversy. Such debate is healthy in our democracy.The genius of our system of governance is that no one gets to have it all her or his way. Starting with the governor. Some will characterize any legislative changes in my budget as my loss. I don’t see it that way, at all.
The winners I care about are the people of Minnesota, whose collective best interests I was elected to represent. As were you in the legislature. Whatever outcome does the most to improve the lives of the most Minnesotans makes winners of us all.
That sounds nice but it’s the prelude to Gov. Dayton caving on the sales tax increases. All that’s left from Gov. Dayton’s first budget is Gov. Dayton’s income tax and cigarette tax increases. Warming up in the bullpen is a liquor tax increase to replace Gov. Dayton’s ill-advised sales tax increase proposal.
It won’t take long to kill the cigarette tax increase. It’s virtually on life support. If history is an indicator, Sen. Bakk will help kill the liquor tax. Here’s what he said about raising the liquor tax in 2009:
Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said eliminating the current mortgage interest deduction could hurt Minnesota’s high rate of home ownership and higher alcohol taxes would drive some liquor shoppers across the Wisconsin border.
It’ll be interesting to see if this Sen. Bakk will agree with the 2009 version of Sen. Bakk. I think it’s more likely that this Sen. Bakk will do whatever Alida Messinger tells him to do.
At the end of the day, the Dayton/Messinger/DFL budget will include massive tax increases because they’re needed to pay off their political allies with taxpayers money. That said, the budget that will pass won’t look much like Gov. Dayton’s first budget.
That’s what happens with mulligan budgets.
Follow this link for more on Gov. Dayton’s mulligan budget.
Additional suggested readings:
Tags: Mark Dayton, State of the State Address, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Tax Increases, Income Tax, Sales Tax, Cigarette Tax, Liquor Tax, Deficits, State Government Shutdown, Mulligan Budget, Alida Messinger, Tom Bakk, DFL, Reforms, Job Creation, MNGOP
When Republicans took control of the Minnesota legislature, Minnesota had a $6,000,000,000 deficit. Thanks in large part to GOP reforms, Minnesota was able to erase that deficit without raising taxes. This morning, the final budget forecast was released. Here’s what it said:
For the coming fiscal cycle, which begins in July and lasts through 2015, the state’s deficit will be $627 million. Both are improvements over estimates from late last year. In November, economists predicted the state would have to grapple with a $1.1 billion deficit over the next two years.
That’s the headline information. Here’s the important information found further down in the article:
it also shows slight dips in projected spending, with the biggest savings coming from health and human services spending. “Savings from negotiated reductions in managed care rates for elderly and disabled basic care, adults without children, and families with children, as well as an increase in pharmacy rebates in (fiscal year) 2014-15 contributed to the reductions,” it says.
That’s another way of saying that the reforms authored by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt saved Minnesota taxpayers a significant chunk of money. The question no longer is whether Republican reforms worked. The question now shifts to being whether Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature will significantly depart from the GOP budget blueprint. Based on Gov. Dayton’s budget and the bills getting committee hearings thus far, the answer to that question is apparently yes.
If passed as is, Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposals will significantly hurt economic growth:
Dayton has proposed the most extensive rewriting of the state’s tax code in a generation. It would increase state taxes by $2.1 billion over the next two years, with top earners and businesses paying the brunt of the costs.
His budget would increase state spending from $35.2 billion in the current two-year cycle to $37.8 billion in the 2014-15 biennium. That’s a 7.6 percent increase.
The governor has said the state needs the extra money to erase a budget deficit, provide more money for education and property tax relief and stabilize future state budgets.
The biggest change he called for would broaden the sales tax base to include haircuts, car repairs, expensive clothes and, stirring the most controversy, business-to-business services, such as advertising, accounting and legal work that are not taxed now. In exchange, he would lower the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent.
Missing from that final paragraph is the fact that smaller cities, especially those that don’t get LGA, will get hit hardest by Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increase. Cities like Sauk Rapids and Sartell have attorneys from local law first on retainer, not on staff. The Dayton/Lenczewski/DFL tax increase bill, in its current form, would devastate smaller cities like Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Foley, St. Joe and Cold Spring.
It’s time to tell DFL legislators representing DFL legislators that it isn’t ok to vote for higher property taxes for small cities in rural Minnesota.
Tagsmaller Minnesota cities that they’ll lose their jobs if they vote for this sales tax increase. It’s time to tell these s: Mark Dayton, Tax Increases, Sales Taxes, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Cold Spring, Foley, Property Taxes, Deficits, DFL, Steve Gottwalt, HHS Reform, Spending Restraint, MNGOP
I wrote here that Rep. Ward’s bill went too far in eliminating the basic skills test for teacher licensure. In that post, I highlighted the difference between SF547 and HF171. Rep. Ward’s bill eliminates testing for reading, writing and math skills. Sen. Bonoff’s bill keeps that requirement.
This morning, this PiPress editorial has a simple message:
[M]inimum standards for all teachers are a common-sense expectation for our schools. Lawmakers should insist on them.
The PiPress editorial notes that the minimum standards test isn’t perfect. They note, however, that lawmakers are insisting on accountability:
Rep. Andrea Kieffer, a Woodbury Republican who sponsored the 2012 teacher-testing bill, said she has added her name to a House bill to address some of the issues, but as far as repeal is concerned, “I have to ask, ‘Why?’ ” she told us.
“Teacher effectiveness is the No. 1 factor in academic success,” Kieffer said. If a teacher has trouble with basic grammar, spelling or math, “should they be teaching our kids in the classroom?”
Based on Rep. Ward’s legislation, it’s apparent that Tom Dooher, the president of Education Minnesota, thinks passing the test isn’t important. Rep. Kieffer isn’t the only legislator who’s pushing for teacher accountability:
The public “expects accountability,” said Sen. Dave Thompson, a Republican from Lakeville, who said he would be very disturbed “if this ends up being repealed and all of a sudden the whole concept of a basic skills test goes away.”
Rep. Ward’s legislation would repeal the basic skills test. That isn’t the right direction. That’s taking Minnesota students, parents and other taxpayers in the wrong direction.
If Rep. Ward is going to be Tom Dooher’s puppet, then his constituents in Brainerd need to send him the message that he isn’t representing their views.
Last year, Gov. Dayton signed a bill into law that required teachers to pass a basic skills examination after the GOP passed it without DFL help. This year, with majorities in both parts of the legislature, the DFL appears poised to gut the GOP’s reform. Rep. John Ward, (DFL- Brainerd) introduced HF0171 early this session.
The language in the bill Gov. Dayton signed into law said that “The board must adopt rules requiring a person to pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a requirement for initial teacher licensure. Such rules must require colleges and universities offering a board-approved teacher preparation program to provide remedial assistance to persons who did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those for whom English is a second language.” That’s exceptionally straightforward. Compare that language with the language proposed by Rep. Ward:
The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board, upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the dispute involves an institution’s recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the person’s credentials. At the board’s discretion, assistance may include the application of chapter 14.
That’s language only a special interest group leader would propose. (Think Tom Dooher, licensed lobbyist and president of Education Minnesota.) That language could mean anything to anyone. The language in Rep. Ward’s legislation doesn’t require that people teaching high school calculus have a masters in math and a minor in education. That’d be heading teacher qualifications in the right direction.
What’s worse is that Rep. Ward’s legislation doesn’t include the same requirements as Sen. Bonoff’s legislation. Here’s what’s different in Sen. Bonoff’s legislation:
The board must adopt rules requiring a person to pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a requirement for initial teacher licensure, except that a person who is a nonnative English language speaker as verified by qualified Minnesota school district personnel or Minnesota higher education institution faculty and who directly instructs in that other language or provides world language instruction under section 120B.022, subdivision 1, in that other language may take and pass the skills examination at any time up to 36 months after becoming otherwise eligible for an initial teaching license and may hold a temporary teaching license during that time. Such rules must require college and universities offering a board-approved teacher preparation program to provide remedial assistance to persons who did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those for whom English is a second language.
The important question Rep. Ward’s constituents should ask is whether his vote is for his constituents or for Tom Dooher.
This video shows why Rep. Jeff Howe is a rising star in the GOP:
Rep. Howe’s weekly update highlights the fact that Gov. Dayton praised the work that the GOP Legislature did the last 2 years:
According to our Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are over 72,000 more jobs available in Minnesota today than when I took office two years ago. Almost 52,000 of those jobs were added in the past year.
That isn’t because we passed a DFL-friendly budget. It’s because the GOP legislature passed a host of pro-business reforms while they were the majority party. Speaking of reforms, now that Tom Dooher is the de facto chair of the K-12 financing and policy committee, he wants to gut teacher licensure reforms. The current law requires that teachers must “pass a basic skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a condition for receiving a teaching license.”
That’s a pretty straightforward set of requirements for getting a teaching license. It’s objective, which means it’s quantifiable and verifiable. Here’s what
Rep. John Ward proposes to change that to: Tom Dooher
(b) The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board, upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the dispute involves an institution’s recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the person’s credentials. At the board’s discretion, assistance may include the application of chapter 14.
(c) The board must provide the leadership and adopt rules for the redesign of teacher education programs to implement a research based, results-oriented curriculum that focuses on the skills teachers need in order to be effective. The board shall implement new systems of teacher preparation program evaluation to assure program effectiveness based on proficiency of graduates in demonstrating attainment of program outcomes. Teacher preparation programs including alternative teacher preparation programs under section 122A.245, among other programs, must include a content-specific, board-approved, performance-based assessment that measures teacher candidates in three areas: planning for instruction and assessment; engaging students and supporting learning; and assessing student learning.
It’s apparent that the DFL is intent on gutting the GOP’ reforms to teacher licensure. They’re intent on raising taxes on all Minnesotans, too. Additionally, they’ve proposed raising spending at a reckless rate. As Rep. Howe said in the video, what was passed is working. Doing a 180 at this point is foolish.
That won’t stop the DFL from paying off their special interest allies. It just means that the DFL, including Gov. Dayton, will own their track record of economic failure. That record of failure will be their epitaph.
Rep. Howe is making his mark by simply making sensible statements and listening to his constituents. Rest assured that he’s a rising star in the Minnesota GOP.
DFL Rep. John Ward is chief author of HF0171, a bill that would gut the teacher accountability bill Gov. Dayton signed into law last year. Here’s the key part of Rep. Ward’s bill:
1.16 (b) The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board,
1.17upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed
1.18graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the
1.19person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the
1.20dispute involves an institution’s recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the
1.21person’s credentials. At the board’s discretion, assistance may include the application
1.22of chapter 14.
1.23(c) The board must provide the leadership and adopt rules for the redesign of
1.24teacher education programs to implement a research based, results-oriented curriculum
1.25that focuses on the skills teachers need in order to be effective. The board shall implement
2.1new systems of teacher preparation program evaluation to assure program effectiveness
2.2based on proficiency of graduates in demonstrating attainment of program outcomes.
2.3Teacher preparation programs including alternative teacher preparation programs
2.4under section 122A.245, among other programs, must include a content-specific,
2.5board-approved, performance-based assessment that measures teacher candidates in three
2.6areas: planning for instruction and assessment; engaging students and supporting learning;
2.7and assessing student learning.
Last year, the GOP legislature passed a bill with much more objective criteria for measuring a teacher’s qualifications:
1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to education; repealing the requirement that licensed K-12 teachers pass
1.3a basic skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a condition
1.4for receiving a teaching license
Rep. Ward’s legislation, undoubtedly written at the request of Education Minnesota President (and registered lobbyist) Tom Dooher, would eliminate the verifiable, objective, requirements for getting a teachers license. What’s worse is that Rep. Ward’s legislation would replace those objective requirements with subjective, significantly less verifiable, requirements. There isn’t a single thing in this paragraph that’s objective:
The board must provide the leadership and adopt rules for the redesign of teacher education programs to implement a research based, results-oriented curriculum that focuses on the skills teachers need in order to be effective. The board shall implement new systems of teacher preparation program evaluation to assure program effectiveness based on proficiency of graduates in demonstrating attainment of program outcomes.
Who determines what “skills teachers need in order to be effective?” Tom Dooher? That’s laughable. Mr. Dooher’s job, both as a lobbyist and as Education Minnesota’s president, is to protect teachers. His job has nothing to do with guaranteeing great educational outcomes for K-12 students.
Rep. Ward’s legislation would utterly gut the objective criteria established in last year’s licensure reform legislation. That’s a predictable outcome because the DFL cares more about their special interest allies than they care about putting highly qualified teachers in each classroom.
Based on the legislation submitted thus far, it’s apparent that the DFL will do its best to repeal the sensible reforms that the GOP legislature passed. This legislation is proof that the DFL’s agenda is much lengthier than the list of things they campaigned on. That’s because the DFL knows it wouldn’t be the majority party in the House of Representatives if they would’ve campaigned on making it easier for unqualified teachers to get a teachers license.