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Associated Press, Published February 01 2011

Full Minnesota Senate to debate new teacher licensing

ST. PAUL — An alternative system for licensing teachers that would make it easier for Teach for America to expand in Minnesota is headed for a vote in the state Senate.

Republican Sen. Gen Olson says the Senate Finance Committee approved her bill on a 15-2 vote Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate as a whole.

She says the inspiration for the bill was Teach for America, the education organization that places recent college graduates in low-income public schools after a five-week training course.

The group currently has about 90 teachers in Twin Cities schools, they are licensed through what some consider a cumbersome process.

The state teachers union has suggested a different alternate licensing process, which is more restrictive and includes more supervision of new teachers.

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