Dayton vetoes teacher licensing bill

Gov. Mark Dayton angered Republican lawmakers Thursday by vetoing their bill to overhaul Minnesota’s teacher licensing system.

He rejected the bill two days after it was passed by the House and Senate. He raised concerns in his veto letter about the costs of the changes and the prospect of inadequately-trained teachers getting licensed under the tiered system.

But Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, disputed both points. He said the governor and his allies wouldn’t compromise.

“It seems to me that Education Minnesota along with the governor are taking an all or nothing approach. They’re not willing to compromise. It’s either their way or no way.”

Pratt said he was unsure about the next step.

Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, said she was “blindsided” by the veto. Erickson criticized Dayton for siding with education interest groups that opposed the bill and ignoring other groups that supported it.

“The governor definitely is not understanding what compromise means, because we incorporated many of the compromises. It seems that he is bending to the Minnesota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and to Education Minnesota.”

Dayton’s letter urged the bill’s Republican sponsors to keep working with his education commissioner toward a version he can sign.

The session ends at midnight Monday.