BISMARCK, ND – In January 2022, North Dakota United released polling results from our members in K-12 public education that indicated shockingly high levels of frustration and burnout within the field. In an effort to find out what’s changed since then, ND United polled our members again as they returned to their classrooms for another school year.

The poll, conducted by DFM Research, in August 2022 asked our members questions about their professional satisfaction, what factors are causing them to think about leaving the profession, and what pressures they feel from outside sources on how to do their jobs.

Here are some of the results that stood out:

  • Thirty-five percent of respondents said that they were considering leaving the education profession last year and are still considering it this year.
  • Of those still considering leaving their jobs, the top reasons cited were teacher burnout/additional stress, which increased by 20 points since January, from 62 percent to an astounding 82 percent; current salaries, which increased from 38 percent to 61 percent; and extra duties becoming burdensome, up from 45 percent in January to 60 percent currently.
  • When asked, “What part has impacted your views on considering leaving the education profession,” 47 percent cited political discourse as a significant part, and another 31 percent said it played some part.

“All of us at ND United continue to listen closely to what our members are telling us about how they are feeling, personally and professionally, as educators,” said ND United President Nick Archuleta. “Both of these polls confirm what I have been hearing from our members across the state regarding their concerns about their jobs, as well as the future of the profession they love. It is our hope that policymakers and the public will think long and hard about what teachers are sharing in this latest poll. Teachers who feel supported, valued and respected remain in the profession. Those that do not take their incredible talents to other professions. This poll, and the one that preceded it, sounds a clear warning that our teachers need help if they are to continue to do the vital work of educating our future.”

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education indicates that more than half of the public schools surveyed in its School Pulse Panel started the 2022-23 school year understaffed. Nationwide, approximately 360,000 fewer people are working in public education than before the pandemic, according to August 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The North Dakota Educational Employment System website (www.schooljobsnd.com) listed 151 open positions statewide in early October 2022, and www.k12jobspot.com showed 370 listings across the state of North Dakota.