© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Organizations representing school boards, teachers like the new teacher recruitment and retention task force

ND United president Nick Archuleta
ND United
ND United president Nick Archuleta

The executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association and the president of the union that represents teachers say they're happy Gov. Burgum has appointed a task force to look at ways to recruit and retain teachers.

The task force is to come up with suggestions to present to Burgum and to state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler by Sept. 30, 2024.

"Our hope is simply that we come up with some new ideas, not just for recruitment but for retention efforts, for all of North Dakota, but especially in our rural areas and in hard0to-fill positions," said NDSBA Executive Director Alexis Baxley. "There is no one 'magic bullet' to solve the issue."

Baxley said workforce pressures have affected the teaching profession. And she said political and societal pressures make it harder than ever to be a teacher."

"Teachers new and old feel that," Baxley said. "And in a place where there are more jobs than people, They have the opportunity to make a choice to not deal with those pressures on a day-to-day basis."

ND United president Nick Archuleta said one of the issues the task force should face is the “coarseness” of the political discourse around education.

"Teachers don't become teachers because they want to be part of a political scrum," Archuleta said. "They become teachers because they want children to have the opportunity to succeed — not just in school, but in life after school. And when we are constantly tearing down education and educators, it's very difficult for people to remain in that profession, or for young people to choose that profession."

Archuleta said the task force should look at how to make the teaching profession more rewarding – not only in salary, but such things as teacher autonomy.

"We have heard from our members for years that the autonomy they've had in the classroom is gradually taken away," Archuleta said. "When that happens, you lose some of that creativity, and the ability for teachers to reach students where they are."

Archuleta said he believes that North Dakota can do something impactful about the teacher shortage.

"We're a small state," Archuleta said. "We know each other, we like each other. And with everybody at the table, working together, we can develop a plan, or series of plans, to mitigate the effect of the teacher shortage and reverse it."

Related Content