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Hoeven teacher pay plan suffers setback

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The North Dakota Senate has decided that the money Governor Hoeven wanted to set aside for teacher pay should instead be rolled into general state aid for schools.

Hoeven had proposed teacher raises of 500-dollars in the first year of the biennium, and one -thousand dollars the second. That's over-and-above a three-thousand dollar per teacher plan passed two years ago. The Education Committee put that money in foundation aid, while increasing the base salary for teachers statewide.

Senate Education Committee chairman Layton Freborg says he believes in local decisions when it comes to teacher pay.

"I believe the locally-elected board members know best in each individual district," said Freborg. "We have many districts that are doing fine salary-wise. I have been a proponent of putting more money into foundation aid."

Hoeven says he wasn't surprised at the committee's action. But he still will be pushing for his plan.

"I mean, look at the progress that we've made this biennium," Hoeven said. "We need to continue that effort."

The Senate Appropriations Committee will now look at the pay plan. Then the House will get a look.