Minnesota, North Dakota educators share continued struggles of teaching, learning during pandemic
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MOORHEAD, Minn., Dec. 6, 2021 – Area educators will join North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta and Education Minnesota President Denise Specht on Wednesday morning to share stories of educating during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as it relates to the shortage of substitute educators.
North Dakota educators join Minnesota educators at the third in a series of media events the state educators’ union is calling “At a breaking point: Educating during COVID-19.” These issues are felt widely and deeply by educators in both states, and across the country.
Specht, Archuleta and educators will be speaking at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 in Great Plains Room of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Moorhead. The press conference will also be shared live on Education Minnesota’s Facebook page.
COVID-19 didn’t create these issues and others facing educators, but it did shine a brighter light on them. The educator shortages across the country pose a challenge not only for finding new teachers and education support professionals but for finding substitute coverage. The same conditions that produced those shortages before the pandemic are still there. COVID-19 made staffing our schools, from bus drivers to food service workers to substitutes, even worse.
“We need our educators to be able to stay home when they need to, whether for personal or health reasons,” said Specht. “Right now, we don’t have enough adults in our schools in all areas, but especially substitutes. The impact is felt by their colleagues who cover for them.”
“Districts can fix all of this by investing in its educators, which in turn is an investment in students,” said Archuleta. “Thanks to the federal ARP funding, they have all the money they need to increase pay for substitutes and hire more permanent subs to be consistent and reliable adults in our buildings.”
Districts in Minnesota have $1.3 billion and, in North Dakota, have $305 million in federal funding to help pay substitute educators a wage that reflects their professional work and the time and care they put into working with our students as our schools navigate the continued COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT: Press conference with North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta, Education Minnesota President Denise Specht and local educators.
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m.
WHERE: Great Plains Room of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, 1080 28th Ave. S., Moorhead, MN 56560. The press conference will also be shared live on Education Minnesota’s Facebook page.
About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.