North Dakota Teacher Shortages

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Some North Dakota students heading back to school this year will be compromised when it comes to their education.
That’s because many smaller school districts in the state are struggling to fill key teaching positions. Fargo has its own issue. KVRR’s Brittany Ford reports.

While schools in western North Dakota struggle to find teachers, the Fargo Public School District is not.

Superintendent Jeffery Schatz says the only staffing issue the district is currently facing is the lack of substitute teachers.
“Opportunities for substitute teachers to make it more attractive and we continue to work on that. Really hope that people come out and want to substitute teach, and work with us because we do need them,” said Fargo Schools Superintendent Jeffery Schatz.
The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board have voted to pass a new exception that will allow community experts to teach in schools to help make up for the shortage.
When it comes to teacher shortages across the state many are saying that the lack of pay is a major issue.
“It’s about money and it’s about people wanting to be in an area where it’s rural,” said  Dale Lammi Music Teacher at Carl Ben Eielson.
Many smaller school districts throughout the state don’t have the resources to pay teachers decent salaries.
I feel western North Dakota still has ways to go as far as salaries. That’s just based on people know that teach out west,” said Dale Lammi Music Teacher.
Kim Belgard is a teacher at Bennett elementary, and a member of the state licensing board. She says compromising education is not the answer.
“Can they be a superintendent, because they’re a bank president. I think that’s the same for teachers we work very hard in our degrees, and they need to pay people to show them they are valued,” said Kim Belgard Teacher and Licensing Board Member.
The board has stated that the new teaching exception is a temporary solution. Brittany Ford KVRR News.
Community experts will not be brought in for teaching in elementary schools, just at middle and high schools.