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Minnesota Gov. Dayton signs new teacher license bill

Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill Monday that gives professionals a new way to become teachers. With him are, from left, Sen. Gen Olson of Minnetrista, Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington and Sen. Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka. Pioneer Photo/Don Davis

ST. PAUL -- Mid-career professionals who want to become teachers now have a way to do that.

Gov. Mark Dayton this morning signed a bill into law establishing guidelines for how professional from other fields, especially math and science, can earn their teacher licenses without going through traditional colleges. However, they still would be required to attend classes about how to teach.

The bill signing brought together Democrat Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties. Dayton said it was a sign that the parties can work together, even in an atmosphere where he and Republican legislative leaders strongly disagree with each other over how to craft a two-year state budget.

A major organization not on board with the alternative teacher license bill is Education Minnesota, which represents about 70,000 educators.

Legislative education leaders and Dayton said they have no idea how many people could take advantage of the new teacher license law, emphasizing that hiring decisions are made by each school district.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.