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Math, science teachers expected in demand


Some North Dakota schools have had teaching positions open since March with no applicants, a state licensing official says.

“Not as many people are going into teacher education,” especially secondary education, said Janet Welk, executive director of the state Education Standards and Practices Board.

Two years ago, Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo had to hire an interim science teacher due to a lack of applicants. This past school year, only three people applied for a full-time science position, said AnnMarie Campbell, a spokeswoman for the school.

The Kindred School District expects a challenge in finding a math and computer science teacher, Superintendent Steve Hall said.

Schools throughout the area generally get hundreds of applications for elementary positions, but only a handful for math and science openings.

“Unfortunately, we are going to have to recruit like crazy over the next few years; I’m sure we will be looking to replace two-thirds of our science and math teachers,” said Steve Jordahl, the Barnesville (Minn.) School District superintendent.

In a recent report, the Business-Higher Education Forum, a Washington-based group formed to enhance U.S. competitiveness, suggested boosting starting salaries for math and science teachers, offering scholarships and signing bonuses and ongoing research-based professional development.

The Fargo School District has had a mentoring program for several years, and has not seen many teachers leave because they were dissatisfied,” said Nancy Jordheim, an assistant superintendent.

Information from: The Forum,

– Associated Press

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