In response to teacher shortage, North Dakota offers hardship waivers

With school districts in North Dakota scrambling late into the summer to fill open teaching positions, the state has stepped in to help. As of early August, emergency administrative rules were being developed for districts to apply for hardship waivers.

These waivers would allow districts to bring on individuals without education degrees to be teachers. The new hires would instead be “community experts” — for example, an experienced farmer in the community teaching vocational agriculture. According to The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, neighboring Minnesota already has a community-expert program in place.
North Dakota established a task force earlier in the year to address the state’s teacher shortage. A local state superintendent told Education Week that three factors are contributing to the problem: more K-12 students because of the state’s population growth, fewer in-state residents entering the profession due to relatively low wages, and difficulty in attracting out-of-state college graduates.
The North Dakota task force plans to work on finding longer-term solutions. Teacher shortages were also being reported this summer in Indiana, Kansas and South Dakota.
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Stateline Midwest: July/August 20153.49 MB