Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, alternative licensure programs may be created by a school district or charter school in partnership with a college or university with a Board of Teaching-approved alternative teacher preparation program.

A new law directs the board to approve qualified programs offering alternative pathways to teacher licensure in order to improve academic excellence, improve ethnic and cultural diversity in the classroom, and close the academic achievement gap.

Alternative licensure candidates who meet all criteria will be granted a two-year limited license that the board may renew for an additional year, and may prepare for a standard teaching license. Candidates must have a 3.0 or higher grade-point average or a waiver from the board; pass basic reading, writing and math skills exams; and obtain qualifying scores on board-approved content and pedagogy exams.

The board is directed to streamline the path for teachers holding out-of-state licensure from accredited programs to Minnesota licensure. Candidates who have completed another state’s alternative teacher preparation program may apply for a standard Minnesota license.

Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista) sponsor the law. HF63/SF40*/CH5