ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he won’t sign a bill that would let schools lay off teachers by a system other than seniority.

Dayton says the bill is one of several Republican-backed bills that undermine tenured teachers and unions.

Current state law says schools must lay off teachers by seniority unless districts negotiate their own layoff policy. The bill would let schools consider teacher evaluations first when making layoff decisions.

The bill is set to come out of a conference committee soon. Both chambers would then need to give it final approval before it goes to Dayton.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (41)
  1. Dan says:

    If you really care about the students and the future of the state he should reconsider his stance. Yeah I know all the teach union bull S*** but if a teacher sucks and teaching and stays on for another year, and a great new teacher that all the students like and learn from gets fired, you know there is something wrong with the system.

    1. John says:

      There is something wrong with the system

    2. KTbug says:

      Could not agree more. My dad was a teacher, then principal, then a MN legislator and he wouldn’t STAND for teachers who didn’t perform and do what they were supposed to do..and that’s to teach. Dayton is a typical DFL, union backer and these teachers are riding my coattails with their Cadillac benefits to boot.

  2. Kevin says:

    The union “heads” are under his desk.

    1. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

      OMG! You are so funny! I almost wet myself! Where do you come up with this brilliant stuff?

      1. lmao says:

        the Republican caucases

  3. Stand and Deliver says:

    Mark is sacrificing the quality of our children’s education to protect union thugs.


    There is no other possible conclusion.

    The next time he says he wants more money for education, you will know that he is lying. He wants it for the union thugs.

  4. hunnybear18 says:

    Good idea governor. Keep it so that the new teacher who is actually reaching the kids and cares gets the axe, but the tenured teacher gets rewarded for substandard work just because they have providing substandard work for more years.

    Typical union mentality. But the legislature is just mean in sending the important issues to people for a vote instead of leaving them at the mercy of the palms he must grease for helping him get elected.

  5. keel says:

    I’m an independent…probably more liberal than conservative…but the unionization of teachers has been a disaster for the public education of our children since its’ inception. Sorry, Mark, but you’re obviously pandering to the Teachers’ Union on this one. If the teacher sucks…fire him/her.

    1. A Teacher says:

      Why do people not understand that EVEN WITH TENURE a teacher can be let go? The principal in the building HAS POWER AND MEANS to let go of tenured staff. You have to follow protocol, but it can be done.

      1. DR says:

        This bill pertains to layoffs, not releasing a tenured staff member that has done something wrong. It’s keeping teachers on in the event of a layoff based soley on their senority and not taking into consideration their performance. Meaning a much more qualified teacher is let go before a less qualified teacher just because they haven’t been around as long. Which is why people here are saying that Dayton could care less about our kids, if he cared he would be pushing to weed out the less talented, instead he is choosing to protect them. Doing just want the unions want, protect those unworthy.

        1. it CAN be done. says:

          If little Johnny isn’t learning and the teacher is the reason, then you need to take it up with the pricipal and the school board. This would mean that the teacher is NOT doing his job and is subject to diciplinary steps INCLUDING REMOVAL from their job. Myself and 4 other families went through the steps and had a teacher removed from her position at a junior high in ST PAUL. Even in a union shop, you must do your job. This is just another typical union busting move by the Republicans.

  6. What a thought says:

    Lets see, if we leave it up to politicians, it would definitly be better, what a joke these people are, another solution looking for a problem. Maybe you knuckle draggers should think about what you are doing to this state. Give everyone a gun and a right to shoot and things will get better.

  7. Got the plan says:

    For all you idiots that hate unions- unions are about fairness to the workers- Get rid of the bonding market if you are a moral person- How much money, do we all pay, for the very richest to take advantage of tax-free interest, when a national bank can do the same- reducing taxes by %15 for everyone- NO more BONDING. Unions made this country- We need a National Bank for the interest of the people.

    1. JSing says:

      You said, “unions are about fairness to the workers”. Okay, I will not argue that.

      But schools are for the students. The best interest of the students trumps the interest of the teachers. Anyone who has children in school now will tell you there are teachers (not all teachers but some teachers) that have no business teaching. They really are that bad. But there is no way to get rid of them.

      We need this bill so that schools have a tool to get rid of teachers that are not performing.

      1. markH says:

        Great comment.!

      2. Ruth says:

        TOTALLY AGREE!!!! The unions are only there to make sure bad teachers cont’ teaching…bottom line!!! they care NOT about the students or the quality of teaching they are deserving of.

    2. markH says:

      Your comment has no point. Are you defending unions or trying to establish a National Bank? Bonding isn’t the issue here; I am happy to contribute revenue via bonding if the process ensures a competent and capable teaching apparatus. It is the union which coddles incompetence and causes us to pay for mediocrity instead of getting to the root of the problem-which is a system founded on seniority and not merit. From my observations, the only people who support unions are those whose livelihood depends on membership in a labor cartel. Peace.

      1. markH says:

        Sorry; the above comment directed at JSing

  8. kiop says:

    If districts can negotiate their own layoff policy what’s the big deal? Or are districts basically manhandled by the unions?

    1. hunnybear18 says:

      Every unionized public department is manhandled by the unions, including the school districts.

  9. BullDog says:

    I saw so many good teachers leave my school as a kid just because they weren’t tenured. Bad teachers remain bad, when they’re immune to losing their job. Unions are evil.

  10. Clem says:

    Another brilliant statement by Governor “Peoples Stadium” Dayton. I guess he’s being vexed again – he can’t understand why a school district would want to get rid of an under-performing teacher especially if he or she has been under-performing the longest.

    p.s. To the ‘cco editor – this is the first time I’ve been on the site today and this is my only post. How can I be posting too quickly? Bite me.

  11. mark says:

    I am more than willing to concede the union’s effect on this issue, but consider the reverse. The schools review the teachers and can fire based on reviews. The schools are always tight on budgets. You will end up with many young inexperienced teachers and very few making it to retirement. Great for the budget, bad for results. I would be all for this system if the teachers were reviewed by their students, peers and parents with equal weighting not just the district management.

    1. I am trying! says:

      As a teacher, I agree that some senior teachers do get by, but not all. I really work my rear off trying to get all of my kids to achieve, some do, some do not. I am tenured and worry about the district being able to ax me if finances stay tough, tenure is what keeps me safe from that. I see some people want parents to choose, so does that mean that I need to avoid speaking the truth about some children, so that I can maintain a positive image? I wish that I knew the solution, but if I did, would anyone listen? according to some of you, I am JUST a teacher.

      1. Really? says:

        What’s your point?
        I sure hope you do a better job teaching than your post did at expressing a point. If not, perhaps your one of those teachers that need to be replaced.
        It’s one thing to “try”, it’s another thing to succeed. We need to be able to retain teachers that succeed and remove those who don’t.

        1. Really? says:

          Perhaps your Eglish teacher failed. You’re instead of your.

        2. Really? Use Common Sense says:

          So success is only when all succeed. 100% of citizens obeying all laws. If not all cops and judges lose their jobs? 100% of patients survive. If not, the doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel lose their jobs? How can you base success off of how other people achieve? It is not realistic.

        3. it CAN be done. says:

          What do you do about all the kids who really don’t want to learn? A teacher cannot force them to learn yet their grades reflect back onto the teacher. It’s a no win situation for the teacher. Unless we ALL are ready to step into the teachers shoes and try to deal with all those kids on a daily basis, who are we to judge them. If your kid gets a bad teacher….pull him/her from that class and put them in another class. You have that power!!!!! It requires a parent to get off their a$$ and do something about it instead of while about it. I did it for two of my three kids.

  12. Dan says:

    Well I’m not a Dem but way to go Gov. Seniority means everything.

  13. Brett says:

    Students lose again, thanks to the governor of “NO”, once again.

  14. Goggahynie says:

    Dayton was the worst US senator, His stupid comment regarding this bill shows he is the worst govenor.

  15. Paul Solinger says:

    I continue to thank God every day that we have Dayton in there instead of Emmer. Can you imagine how horrible this state would be if Emmer were elected?

    This bill deserved to be vetoed. The legislature’s job is not to dictate how teachers are laid off or not laid off. That is the job of the locally elected school board. This was an attack on teachers, the latest Republican boogieman.

  16. A Teacher says:

    Thank God. Think about it people. Districts could let go of more experienced great teachers just because they have more years experience or graduate degrees. The highest paid would go on the chopping block with NO REASON other than being too expensive (a teacher, expensive? Laughable.)

    If a teacher (regardless of tenure) is performing poorly- they can be let go!!! Principals DO HAVE the mean to get rid of poorly performing teachers.
    Why touch something that isn’t broken?

    Kudos to Dayton.

  17. Bubba says:

    Just once, I would like to see someone post while they’re ranting about teachers/education, state what their job is. How did they get that job, education maybe? But, the main reason I want to see their jobs, is so I can rip on them about how poorly they do. Sight unseen, just like they do. It’s so easy to lump all teachers together and rip them. Name me one profession/job I can’t rip. Bet you can’t.

  18. WJH says:

    Do just cause and due process for professional educators mean nothing to the MN electorate. That’s all the protection that they have in the game under MN Statute (check it out). Competent administrators performing regular, fair and thorough evaluations can remove incompetence from classooms, plain and simple. . . and when they have failed in this no one has any appreciation for the behind the scenes work done by unions to remove those teachers. Yes, there is a small percentage of underperforming teachers, but how about giving real formative evaluation by trained and competent evaluators a chance to work before laying the blame at the door of the Union. Thank you, Gov. Dayton, for having the spine to say no to a vindictive and spiteful GOP that fails to recognize the commitment to students and their families by thousands of MN public school teachers on a daily basis.

  19. J says:

    I want to add a thought as someone that owns a business.
    There are comments made by some about “getting rid of the highest paid.” per se. That is not a good or “smart” business model. If you want to retain highly trained employees, you compensate them and do what you need to do to keep them happy. Training and retraining of employees is expensive, and costs more in the long run. We pay based on performance, client satisfaction, experience, etc. However, we do not promote individuals based soley on how long they have been in the company.
    You would think that the Gov. would have more sense growing up in family with a successful business. People need to be accountable for their job performance, union or not.

  20. Spanky says:

    “All the boy’s think she’s a spy she’s got Marky Dayton eyes”

  21. Spanky says:

    Let me guess, you voted for this alcoholic nut case.


    THIS IS NOT ABOUT GETTING RID OF BAD TEACHERS! I am a teacher and I will tell you that I have seen several teachers removed because they were bad teachers. It can be done as long as the admin are willing to do their job. This is about removing anyone at any time for any reason including money. This is a Republican plan to weaken the teachers union. I had a friend who is a principal tell me point blank that if he wants to balance his budget by getting rid of older teachers why shouldn’t he be able to. This has nothing to do with teacher quality.

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