By Nick Archuleta, NDU President
The men and women of North Dakota United do right by our students every day. Our bus drivers deliver them safely from their homes to school and back again. Our cafeteria staff feed them and give them the energy they need to learn. Our paraprofessionals tend to the needs of our most vulnerable students. And our teachers, in addition to helping our students to be life-long learners, help to create safe spaces in which to learn and grow. We all work together to keep our students safe, and to develop their minds and character.
We worked together to do what’s best for our students again at the Legislature, by making our voices heard loud and clear on two very important pieces of legislation. Yesterday, House Bill 1310, which would have allowed persons other than professional law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons into our schools, failed in the N.D. Senate by a vote of 18–27. And Senate Bill 2186, which will allow our schools districts and educators the freedom to innovate in the classroom, passed the House, 75–17.
The debate was cordial, bipartisan and impassioned. In the end, a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans came together to make the right decision on both of these bills.
I want to thank each of those legislators who voted for kids yesterday, and who worked hard to learn the complexities of these issues. Just as importantly, I want to thank you, our North Dakota United members and friends who contacted your legislators and made your feelings known, to both chambers. This outcome would not have happened without you. We heard from legislators on both sides of the aisle who said that you were very active and very vocal on both bills, as you have been all session. Your voices were heard, and YOU made the difference.
Finally, I want to thank our NDU staff, as well as the staff and leadership of the North Dakota Council of Education Leaders (NDCEL) and the North Dakota School Boards Association (NDSBA). A whole lot of hard work and harder conversations took place at the Capitol on these difficult topics, and in the end, we all did right by our students. Together.
Thank you for all that you do. There are tough battles coming up soon in the Legislature, concerning the budgets for higher education and public services, as well as K-12 funding. Stay vocal, active and strong. Together, we are North Dakota United!