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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

ND task force zeroes in on teacher recruitment

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Monday, February 19, 2024   

This coming Thursday, a new task force will meet to advance discussions about boosting teacher recruitment and retention in North Dakota.

The panel was announced by Gov. Doug Burgum last fall as stakeholders noted that, like other states, North Dakota continues to deal with an educator shortage.

One task force member is Bret Dockter, an elementary school teacher from Harvey and the 2022 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.

He said when was starting his career, an opening for a job like his often attracted many candidates. But he said schools, especially in rural areas, aren't as lucky these days.

"Now, we have jobs that we maybe get one applicant for, or we don't even get applicants for," said Dockter. "And so, I think we all are looking for a way to promote this great profession that we have."

He said it's a tall order because, from his perspective, he still sees a lot of burnout among colleagues, related to the pandemic.

Dockter said he hopes things like teacher pay are brought up in the discussions, but he said he's excited to hear ideas from other task force members.

The panel is required to submit recommendations later this year.

Ahead of any long-term solutions, Dockter said smaller districts will continue to see educators take on extra duties.

"I have a bus license, and I've been subbing once in a while after school," said Dockter, "just because they have such limited resources there."

Dockter also is a member of North Dakota United, the state's largest teacher's union.

Beyond better pay, union leaders hope the task force looks at things like adequate staffing levels and less burdensome pathways to teacher licensure.



Disclosure: North Dakota United contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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