Proposed Teacher Licensure Rules

The Minnesota Professional Educators Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) held a public hearing on Wednesday August 24 to discuss changes to the state’s licensure rules for teachers. Various parental rights groups have raised serious concerns that the proposed rules will introduce highly controversial and ideological equity and gender concepts into classrooms and circumvent the ability of parents and community members to locally adopt their school curriculum through their elected school boards. You can view the proposed standards (beginning on page 18) and a video recording of the hearing on the PELSB website.

I have significant concerns with the proposed rules and I encourage anyone else to share their concerns by leaving a comment on the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings website by the 9/13/22 deadline. Both of our state legislators (Zach Duckworth and Pat Garofalo) are also concerned by the proposed rules and have added their names to public comments on the website.

I have included my public comment and the two letters submitted by our legislators below:

The Honorable James Mortenson:
I am writing to object to the Proposed Rule Draft RD4615, the changes to the Standards for Effective Practice for Teachers.

My primary concern is that the proposed rule changes are subjective and vague, and that they will make it nearly impossible for each applicant and licensee to know whether they are in compliance with licensing standards. As a result, this will provide the Professional Educator Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) with broad authority to determine on a case-by-case basis whether each individual is meeting licensing requirements based on the board’s own interpretation of the rules at that time.

The two Minnesota state legislators in our district, Zach Duckworth and Pat Garofalo, have signed post-hearing comments that have been provided to you in response to the proposed rules. I have summarized the points within those comments that mirror my own concerns. Additionally, I have attached their full comments for your reference.

36362 PELSB Post Hearing Comment – Members of MN House of Representatives:
1. Terms used within the proposed rules lack clear definition.
2. The proposed rules appear to conflict with state law regarding parents’ rights to locally adopt their school curriculum.
3. The proposed rules fail to include “the rule’s probable effect on teacher demand” as required by law, and it is probable to assume they would have a negative impact on the supply of teachers.

36362 PELSB Post Hearing Comment – Members of MN Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee:
1. The need for the proposed rules has not been demonstrated, especially at a time where decreased reading proficiency should be a primary concern.
2. The proposed rules will create new barriers to qualified teachers entering the profession.

During this period of review, I strongly urge you to consider whether these rules meet statutory requirements, the likely negative impact they will have on the supply of educators, and the limitations they will impose on parent rights to locally adopt their school curriculum.

Thank you for your consideration.

David Barr
Farmington, MN parent and ISD 192 school board candidate

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