The processing fee for a Minnesota professional educator license may be a small price to pay for renewal, but that doesn't take into account the investment beforehand. Teachers and other education professionals spent thousands of dollars gaining the experience they needed to begin their careers. With such dedication and funding put into becoming a teacher, having a license suspended or revoked would be a crushing blow.
It's not just failing to pay annual fees that can put a professional educator license at risk. There are many reasons a complaint can be filed to the licensing board, including violating the long list of rules license holders must follow in their employment at school and in their personal lives. Moreover, the process of regaining legitimacy and standing with the state boards can be burdened with legal complexities and time-consuming hurdles to jump over. Because of this, it's better to gain the help you need to keep your professional credentials when trouble arises and before the licensing board seeks disciplinary action.
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has the knowledge and poise you can depend on to assist you against disciplinary boards and other ways your license can be threatened. They understand the difficulties of administrative investigations and hearings that often lead to harsh sanctions. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today or go online immediately for help.
Minnesota Professional Educator License
When individuals decide to pursue a career as a teacher or educator in Minnesota, they will need to acquire a professional educator license. While the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) manages the state's teachers and educators, it's the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board that oversees licensing requirements. The Board has various types of licenses education professionals may pursue, which include the following:
- Tier 1 License
- Tier 2 License
- Tier 3 License
- Tier 4 License
- Substitute License
- Out-of-State License
- Other paraprofessional credentials
There are also additional licenses and endorsements the Board can hand out, like administrative licenses for principals and superintendents, and special education licenses for teachers specialized in disability education. Additional certifications are available for teaching specific subjects or grade levels.
Teachers and educators are usually required to participate in ongoing professional development to maintain or renew their licenses. Requirements for renewal may include a specific number of professional development hours or additional coursework. But, one of the most important obligations to maintain certification is adherence to the Board's code of ethics.
Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics for Minnesota teachers includes ten rules established by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Its standards of professional conduct include the following:
- Provide professional education services to all students in a non-discriminatory manner.
- Make a reasonable effort to protect students if conditions threaten their health and safety.
- Disclose confidential information only when a compelling professional purpose or state or federal law requires.
- Exercise reasonable disciplinary action to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- Not use professional relationships with students, parents, and colleagues for private advantage.
- Delegate authority for teaching responsible only to a holder of a professional educator license.
- Not deliberately distort or suppress academic subject matter.
- Not knowingly falsify or misrepresent teaching qualification records.
- Not knowingly make false or malicious statements about students or colleagues
- Only accept a teaching contract for which the individual is properly or provisionally licensed.
While the above guidelines give license holders an idea of what conduct is allowed, there is more that can cause an individual to run afoul of the Board's rules and regulations. Complaints can be filed by students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and others, and the Board will conduct an investigation into every complaint received.
The Disciplinary Process for Minnesota Teachers and Educators
The first step of the disciplinary process will kick off when the Board receives a complaint or other communication alleging a violation of a statute or rule that the Board is empowered to enforce—like the Code of Ethics. The Board's legal advisor—a designee of the state attorney general—will evaluate the complaint with various members of the Board and determine if an informal means of corrective action to address grievances or misconduct, which may include the following:
The license holder must be informed of the complaint within ten days of receipt. If the Board exhausts informal methods, the matter is sent to a disciplinary hearing. The Board may issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses, including producing material evidence. During each stage of the investigation and hearing phases, license holders are entitled to representation.
A teacher or educator found to have violated the Code of Ethics or responsible for misconduct may have the following sanctions handed down by the Board:
- Interparty conditional agreements: The accusing party agrees to terminate proceedings on various conditions.
- Formal letter of censure: A written letter of reprimand filed with the Board for a period not to exceed one year.
- License probation: The teacher or educator must work under enhanced oversight directed toward improving performance.
- License suspension: Periods of suspension are determined by the Board.
- License revocation: Permanent loss of the professional educator license.
Appeals to the Board are possible under limited circumstances. Nevertheless, license holders may pursue action through the Minnesota court system.
Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your Professional Educator License
Any complaint against you is a threat to your Minnesota professional educator license. But even serious allegations that wind up dropped or not pursued by the Board can affect your livelihood. Without a robust representation, license holders enter a set of administrative procedures that they may not be familiar with, leaving them vulnerable to the Board's strict oversight. Therefore, teaming with a Lento Law Firm attorney who understands how licensing boards manage discipline is a valuable career investment.
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team knows the stress the Board can place on licensees. You've worked tirelessly to obtain your career credentials, so let the Lento Law Firm provide you with the defense you need to continue teaching. Not only will they make sure you are represented f in front of the Board, but they will also:
- Review the complaint filed with the Board and other relevant information to strategize.
- Assist in corresponding drafting to the Board and other authorities involved.
- Collect evidence and interview witnesses on your behalf.
- Lead negotiations with the Board to mitigate sanctions.
- File appeals with the local or Minnesota state court system if needed.
Teachers and educators may be professionals in the learning environment but leave the legal work for a Lento Law Firm attorney. Doing so will give you the assurance that you have a team fighting for your right to keep your professional educator license while you focus on your career teaching students.
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Minnesota
Although the Board oversees teachers and educators throughout Minnesota, schools and institutions throughout the Upper Midwest state vary greatly in the populations they serve. School climates reflect the state's mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas, each with its unique opportunities and challenges. Below is a general overview:
In the far northeastern corner of Minnesota, north of Lake Superior, bigger school districts and universities are centered around Duluth. For instance, the Duluth Public Schools System, Lake Superior College, Duluth Business University, The College of St. Scholastica, and the University of Minnesota—Duluth
Although sparsely populated with rural towns and countries, most of the region's action is influenced by neighboring St. Cloud. K-12 education is dominated by the St. Cloud Independent School District, and the area is also home to St. Cloud State University, the Minnesota Schools of Business, the College of Saint Benedict, Ridgewater College, and many others.
Nestled in the scenic Mississippi Valley, the primary city is Rochester, anchoring the area's educational apparatus. Institutions in the area include Augsburg University, Winona State University, the University of Minnesota—Rochester, and a myriad of public, private, and alternative K-12 schools.
Including several regions in the upper part of the state, the area is home to Minnesota North College in Grand Rapids, nearby Bemidji State University, and a host of primary and secondary school districts.
Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
Primarily comprised of Minneapolis and the state capital of Saint Paul, the Twin Cities metro area includes 13 urban and suburban counties with access to a wide range of K-12 programs and world-class higher education like Concordia University, Macalester College, St. Catherine University, Bethel University, University of Northwestern, and the University of Minnesota.
Regardless of your location in Minnesota, you can access the help you require to retain your professional educator license. Even though you may have facts unique to your situation, the Board may not consider extenuating factors like the school system you work in and its differences between statewide averages for oversight.
Consequences of Losing a Teaching Certificate
Losing a teaching certificate is a serious event in an individual's career that carries significant and far-reaching implications. Once a Minnesota professional educator license is revoked, the following short-term consequences may occur:
- Ineligible to teach in the state.
- Employment benefits may end.
- Grants or scholarships dependent on employment or licensure may be withdrawn.
- Other licenses or professional certifications could be called into question by governing bodies.
While the immediate implication may be apparent, there are far more that many fail to consider that disciplinary action could influence years down the road. For instance, the revocation of a professional educator license is reported to databases accessible by other states' education departments. Therefore, adverse action could cause the following effects:
- Barriers to licensure and employment in other states.
- Forced to take non-licensed employment roles that may provide less pay and job security.
- Difficulties re-entering the education field because of the stigma associated with disciplinary action.
In some school districts, there may be a waiting period before an individual can apply for a new teaching certificate, and the application process will likely be more stringent if previous disciplinary action is on an applicant's record. Furthermore, additional coursework or professional development may be required during the reapplication process.
With these considerable consequences, any teacher or education facing certificate suspension or revocation should consult with legal professionals familiar with education law to understand their rights, obligations, and possible strategies for defense.
Professional License Defense for Teacher Certification in Minnesota
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team is dedicated to helping Minnesota teachers and educators navigate complaints against them. After gaining an education, pressing through licensure requirements, and maintaining Board guidelines, you need a team that can represent you effectively, understand state license regulations, and broker a resolution with Board officials.
Local lawyers may try to convince those undergoing the disciplinary process that they can use their courtroom experience to help argue their way out of sanctions. However, administrative hearings—those used by the Board and other state license agencies—have different processes and evidentiary standards than those occurring in the courtroom. Moreover, local attorneys often use aggressive tactics as a first line of defense for their clients. If you're a licensed educator, you need stress-free, comprehensive assistance in retaining your authorization to teach in Minnesota, not shock-and-awe legal tactics that don't serve your best interests.
Get the assistance you need to properly defend yourself and maintain your teaching credentials. Call the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team at 888-535-3686 today for help, or schedule a consultation online.