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House approves new teacher negotiation guidelines

Apr 7, 2021

The House has approved a bill that puts some time limits on teacher negotiations.

The bill says by July first – unless agreed to be the teachers and the school board – negotiations must be completed. If no agreement is reached, the parties go to impasse.

Supporters of the bill argued in committee that one side or the other often used delaying tactics in negotiation strategy.

A House committee is now studying a bill designed to put time limits on teacher negotiations.

SB 2215 would require that teacher’s organizations file for negotiations no later than March first. And it requires an impasse be declared by July first, if no agreement is reached.  But the school board and teacher’s group could agree to extend the negotiation period.

Teachers celebrated at the Capitol

Jun 20, 2019
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It was a celebration of -- and for -- teachers.

"When we all think back on our own education, we can all think of a teacher, instructor, mentor, that was a champion for each and every one of us," Gov. Doug Burgum said during the event at the state Capitol. "We know what kind of a difference that made in our lives. And that's the kind of difference each one of you are making."

Burgum, state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler and North Dakota United president Nick Archuleta hosted the celebration.

ND teachers concerned with funding, safety issues

Jun 4, 2018

As the negotiating season for teachers and school boards gets underway, teachers are focusing on a few big issues.

One is funding.

"By and large, I think you can see morale is not as good as it could be," said North Dakota United president Nick Archuleta. ND United represents teachers. "They're unsure of what the funding levels for schools will look like in the next biennium."

Archuleta said when state Legislators return in January, they're going to have to figure out how to handle a projected $400 million deficit in state revenue.

The executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association said the 2017 Legislature will consider a student loan forgiveness program for new teachers who fill open jobs in rural areas, or areas of critical need.

Jon Martinson said the concept is – for teachers who agree to work in rural areas, they would get $4500 the first year, $4500 the second year and $6500 the third year.       

"There's a teacher shortage throughout the nation," Martinson said. "Certainly we feel that in North Dakota."

Martinson said it is a critical need.

North Dakota has been facing teacher shortages.

And North Dakota’s Superintendent of Public Instruction says it may take a mindset change to help meet the needs.

Kirsten Baesler says it goes beyond the traditional ways, where aspiring teachers went into teacher education  programs, and were ready for the classroom at 22 years of age.

North Dakota continues to experience teacher shortages.

Many school districts have had to go outside North Dakota to recruit teachers. And the state’s Education Standards and Practices Board says for this year, it has licensed more teachers from outside the state than it has in-state college graduates.

Valley City State University officials say they’re working to meet the needs.

Teacher shortage in ND

Sep 22, 2014

It’s a growing issue in North Dakota.

School districts across the state have had trouble recruiting teachers to fill open spots. As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, the shortage is statewide.

As the school year approached, the public schools in Ray were scrambling to find teachers.

“We had six positions open this year,” said Arley Larson, the Ray school principal. But he’s not alone.

NDEA, NDPEA merge to form 'ND United'

Aug 26, 2013

The North Dakota Education Association has merged with the North Dakota Public Employees Association to form a new organization – dubbed “North Dakota United.”

"We have members in every community in the state of North Dakota," said ND United president Nick Archuleta. "We have snowplow drivers, we have mental health workers, we have social workers, and of course teachers."

Archuleta says the new union has 10-thousand members. That number includes 800 faculty and staff in the North Dakota University System.

NDEA: Raise minimum salary for teachers

Mar 6, 2013

The North Dakota Education Association is launching an effort to raise the minimum starting salary for teachers.

Ten years ago, the Legislature set that salary at $22,500 a year. The average starting salary now is $32,000. And NDEA wants to make that average starting salary state law.

"We think this is long overdue," said NDEA President Dakota Draper. "We think we're making a very reasonable request. And we think it's important for young people. If you're going to attract new teachers to North Dakota, and make sure they stay here, you need to start doing this."