Dayton calls bill taking seniority out of teacher layoffs an “election ploy”; hints at veto

/ 29 February 2012 / jennifer

Megan Boldt, Pioneer Press, February 29, 2012 –

Gov. Mark Dayton this morning criticized a measure that would end the practice of using experience as the deciding factor when schools layoff of teachers, indicating he may veto the bill when it makes its way to his desk.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate have passed different versions of the bill, which would require districts to base teacher layoffs primarily on performance rather than seniority. They are expected to send a compromise proposal to the DFL governor.

“Right now it looks to me, frankly, more like an election ploy than serious legislation,” the DFLer said on Minnesota Public Radio.

Dayton questioned why Republican lawmakers are quick to pass such legislation before the state is finished crafting a new teacher evaluation system.

“I think we’ll know a lot more in a couple of years, and then we can make an intelligent decision (on) exactly how to structure some alternative,” he said.

Cathy Wurzer, host of MPR’s Morning Edition, said to Dayton that it sounds like he won’t sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

His response: “Well, I’ll still have some more conversations before I make that final decision, but I think your read of my current view is probably pretty correct.”