Garofalo officially announces he will seek a fifth term
Advocates for continued education reform
Minnesota State Rep. Patrick Garofalo, R-Farmington, has made it official: He will seek a fifth term in office.
Last August, Garofalo announced he was considered running for the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, but told Sun Thisweek in October he would instead seek to stay in the House of Representatives.
“That’s where my heart is,” Garofalo then said.
Garofalo, chairman of the powerful House Education Finance Committee, said in a May 31 news release that he looks forward to continuing work on education reform and improving the state’s budget.
“Over the last two years I’ve led colleagues on both sides of the
aisle to achieve the most monumental and impactful education reforms
Minnesota has seen in decades,” Garofalo said.
He was instrumental in making education reforms that include creating an alternative teacher licensing process allowing professionals and experts to become teachers; enrollees in the program are granted temporary teaching licenses while they are completing the program.
Garofalo said the program is particularly helpful in the areas of science, math and engineering.
“We went into this with the mindset of ‘kids first, no exceptions, no
excuses’ and I’m proud that we stayed true to that goal,” Garofalo
said. “Alternative pathways to licensure, repealing mandates and
extending post-secondary options are just a few of the many positive
changes schools across Minnesota will see from the Legislature.”
Garofalo added in the news release he will continue to fight against Minnesota’s “last in, first out” rule, and instead seek reforms that base teacher layoffs on performance instead of seniority.
Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill eliminating the rule earlier this year.
Garofalo called Dayton’s veto “flat out wrong,” stating, “It did a disservice to kids and we’re going to push even harder for it next year.”
He also vowed to continue to promote fiscal responsibility by restraining spending without increasing taxes, noting the state’s budget forecast flipped from a record-setting high deficit to a surplus and future deficits “continue to shrink.”
Garofalo is being challenged by Jim Arlt, 54, of Ravenna Township.
Arlt said he is a political independent, but this spring received unanimous Democratic endorsement to seek the House seat.