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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

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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