August 5, 2015

Teacher Shortage Critical, state says

By Edna Sailor

With time running out to assist North Dakota school districts with teacher shortages, last week North Dakota’s Education Standards and Practices Board, which is the state’s teacher licensing agency, voted unanimously to endorse a proposal from the recently formed DPI teacher shortage task force. The proposal allows schools to tap community experts to fill teacher vacancies. The proposal is similar to one in operation in Minnesota.

In June, Department of Public Instruction Superintendent, Kirsten Baesler, proposed the idea to her newly formed 11 member Teacher Shortage Task Force. The proposal gives school districts with teacher hiring difficulties the authority to request a hardship waiver.

The waiver then allows a community expert to become a classroom teacher in the subject of his or her expertise. For example, a school district could hire an experienced farmer who lacks a college degree in education to be licensed to teach vocational agriculture.


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