- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Officials at private schools in North Dakota say they’re grappling with the same teacher shortage problems that public schools are facing.

Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck had a difficult time filling open science and English teacher positions this year, Superintendent Travis Jordan told The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1Vtk1e7 ).

“We got a lot fewer applicants than we would normally,” he said.

The music teacher at St. Joseph School in Mandan was hired away by Bismarck Public Schools shortly before classes started, Principal Valerie Vogel said.

“There’s not a music teacher to be found,” she said. “We’re looking. We don’t plan to continue without.”

Recent data from North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction shows that 129 of the state’s 179 school districts went into the academic year with a combined shortage of nearly 175 teaching positions. Educators point to several reasons, including school expansions in the booming oil patch, a high number of retirees, fewer college students pursuing higher education because of low wages, and difficulties in recruiting new college graduates from out of state.

Martin Luther School Principal Kathryn Jones in Mandan said she anticipates a hard time finding substitutes this year, because a lot of subs are scheduled in other schools or even getting hired full time.

“I do have my teaching license, so there are times I end up stepping into the classroom,” she said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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