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Dayton Signs Minn. Teacher License Bill Into Law

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a law that creates a path into the teaching profession for nontraditional teachers and midcareer professionals.

The Democratic governor signed the bill at a Capitol ceremony with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and lawmakers including the Republican heads of education committees and Democratic supporters of the proposal.

The law is aimed at helping to close Minnesota’s wide racial achievement gap and fill projected teacher shortages. It is expected to bring in new, mostly young teachers who didn’t attend traditional teaching colleges and ease the way for programs such as Teach for America, a national initiative that places recent college graduates in struggling schools.

The law was opposed by the Education Minnesota teachers union, whose president predicted the change will weaken standards for becoming a teacher.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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