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Organization Seeks to Raise the Minimum for Teacher Salaries - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Organization Seeks to Raise the Minimum for Teacher Salaries

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Teacher Mark Berntson carries many different tunes, from the classroom to the North Dakota Education Association, trying to make a difference where it counts.

"We want the best and brightest to do what we are doing," says Berntson. Berntson is the Vice President of the Education Association and says to bring in more teachers changes need to be made. "it's the first time we have weighed in on the minimum salary and it's time to raise it in a state where it makes sense," says Berntson.

Over the past ten years things have gotten bigger like classroom sizes, but when it comes to the mandatory minimum for teachers salaries that has stayed the same.

"We need to have a minimum starting salary that will attract people to the position," says Dakota Draper, President of the North Dakota Education Association. The Education Association is asking the legislature to increase the current average starting teacher salary from $22,500 to at least $32,000. "This is something good for North Dakota," says Draper. For Berntson, he says changing the minimum salary is a small price to pay, for the huge task teachers do. "We feel like we are the backbone of society and it's said that we make all professions possible," says Berntson.

 The Education Association is also launching the "Make the Average the law" initiative, which will include radio and print advertisements across the state to raise awareness on the issue.

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