According to a recent poll we conducted, there is a growing educator retention crisis in North Dakota that must be addressed. Increased workloads, stagnant wages, fabricated political controversies and threats to degrade retirement and health insurance benefits have led to a record level of burnout and heightened concerns for the future.

“What North Dakota United’s teacher and education support professionals are telling us in this latest survey is that circumstances beyond their control are sapping their will to remain in the professions they love,” said ND United President Nick Archuleta. “The shortage of teachers, substitute teachers and education support professionals, when added to the pressures of teaching in a pandemic, are factors conspiring to drive these dedicated educators from the field.”

The poll, conducted by DFM Research, asked our members how they’re feeling about their jobs, in the midst of a pandemic and relentless attacks on their profession by politicians and pundits. The results are alarming:

  • 74% believe teacher retention for the 2022-23 school year is a major issue.
  • When hired, 90% of our members saw a future where they would retire as an educator; when asked now, that number declines by more than half, to 41%.
  • Teacher burnout is the top reason why NDU educator members are considering leavingtheir profession, at 62%.
  • A troublesome 53% of educators polled said that they feel at least “some pressure”from politicians and parents to teach a certain way to be “less controversial.”
  • When asked if they feel appreciated, 40% said no, and just 5% said they did. This represents a steep decline of 55% from a poll in 2019.

“This dramatic drop in our educators’ morale and increased sense of being disrespected, unappreciated and unheard doesn’t just hurt our educators, it affects all of us, especially our students,” President Archuleta said. “Teachers teach because they want to make a positive difference in the lives of our students. These poll results speak to their overwhelming frustration even as they strive to do the very best by our students and their families. We need to listen to them. It is at our own peril that we ignore their plea for help and fail to take action to support our education professionals.”

The 2022 survey was conducted between Jan. 10-14, 2022, and consisted of 1,149 complete interviews of North Dakota United members via an e-mail and text-to-web platform powered by SurveyMonkey. Final survey data is weighted by gender, age, region and school type to reflect the composition of our NDU educator membership. To note, this is the largest sample size of any NDU survey conducted in the past seven years.