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North Dakota eases supervision of student teachers to address shortages

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced Tuesday that his state will ease restrictions on student teachers to address difficulties in recruiting and retaining educators. 

The request for emergency rulemaking to “temporarily allow expanded use of student teachers” came from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) as it calls for help to “address the state’s teacher shortage.” 

“Our administration has reviewed the request pursuant to N.D.C.C. § 28-32-03, sought and received input from districts across the state, and agrees that emergency rulemaking is reasonably necessary. Therefore, your request is granted,” Burgum said in his letter to ESPB. 

“As the ESPB executive director has stated, this is a Band-Aid, not a permanent solution. 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,” he added. 

The governor is also creating a task force to tackle the challenges the state is having in keeping teachers. 

“With support of a facilitator, this task force will have a very clear purpose: to identify policies and practices that will help establish a pipeline of quality professional educators who receive the support they need to be their best so that our students receive the world-class, taxpayer-efficient education they deserve,” said Burgum, who is also seeking to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. 

Since the pandemic, states have taken different actions to address the teacher shortage as many in the field have left and new recruits are hard to come by.

Florida allowed veterans to become educators to help combat the lack of educators in the classroom. Other states have eased teacher certification rules and made it easier for out-of-state educators to work in their schools.


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