Gov. Burgum’s administration working to address teacher shortage

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Big news for education across North Dakota, as Governor Doug Burgum has granted a request for the state’s education standards and practices board. This was announced through a letter to the board.

This will allow student teachers to be teachers of record this upcoming semester.

“It’s not going to solve the teacher shortage but hopefully it will provide well, qualified teachers for students who might otherwise not have them.” said Rebecca Pitkin, the executive director of the board.

This is in effort to address the teacher shortages in the short term. According to the board, only 45% of the schools are fully staffed. Burgum said this should be viewed as a band-aid, not a long term solution.

“As the ESPB executive director has stated, this is a Band-Aid, not a permanent solution,” wrote Gov. Burgum in a letter to the board. “This emergency action simply gives local school boards and administrators additional flexibility and retains local control in determining how to fill teacher openings with the best interests of students in mind.”

North Dakota United, which is the teachers’ union, has been against this from the start when the board sent a letter to the governor.

Stating they’ve heard complaints from teachers.

“They feel, first of all, feel somewhat disrespected and I understand why,” said Nick Archuleta, the president ND United. “They’ve worked hard to earn their licenses. Many of them have worked for years to improve and perfect their teaching practices in the state. Now to be considered a teacher of record alongside somebody who’s not even licensed, it’s off putting.”

Gov. Burgum is also having a taskforce created to help address these issues in North Dakota.

While ND United doesn’t agree with the decision made about student teachers, they do support the idea of the taskforce.

“The governor is taking this very seriously,” If we know one thing about Governor Burgum, is that he is data driven. Let’s look at the data. Let’s find out exactly what it is that we are dealing with and then propose common sense, doable solutions.” 

We reached out to the Fargo and West Fargo school districts and they both said they will review the Governor’s decision and will see how it could impact them.

West Fargo Public Schools said ‘It would only use the ESPB emergency rules regarding student teachers as a last resort’.



Categories: Local News, North Dakota News