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ND Council of Educational Leaders survey: need for REAs, distance education

A new survey of North Dakota schools shows schools place a high importance on the “regional educational associations,” or REAs.

The study was done by the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders. Council executive director Aimee Copas presented the results to the Legislature's  interim Education Policy Committee.  Copas said the survey showed schools believe the REAs are a critical component for the state’s educational system.

"By and large, they are the most utilized entity outside of the schools, for a variety of supports," Copas said in an interview. "Perhaps there is a way to help build capacity for the REAs, so they can expand and take on even more services."

Copas said the survey shows the Center for Distance Education being critical for smaller schools.

"It helps fill gaps in opportunities, as well as a lack of intructors in certain areas," Copas said.

Copas said she wanted to show state lawmakers how the education community feels about the system – and where some improvements can be made.

"I hope it helps reaffirm the belief system we have within our state, that we can make good decisions at the local level," Copas said. "We do need supports. But it's a cooperative thing."

Copas said she hopes through the data demonstration, the state can have a more synergistic approach to supporting kids.

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