Skip to main content

News Releases

Media Contact

Please contact NDU Press Secretary Joel Crane at 701-557-1001 or

Media Request Form

What is the topic of the story you're working on?
If possible, please share the questions you'd like to ask our NDU spokesperson, so they can be prepared to give thoughtful answers.
Please share a timeline for when you would need to speak to our spokesperson in order to turn your story in on time.

ND United Statement on Closing of Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan for Public Employees

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Legislature today voted to pass HB 1040, a bill that will close the defined-benefit retirement plan offered to state, county, city and other political subdivision employees since 1977. It will now go to Gov. Doug Burgum for signature. The following statement can be attributed to North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta:

ND United Statement on Updated State Revenue Forecast

BISMARCK – An updated tax revenue forecast for the state of North Dakota was released today, and the Legislature will be hearing more about this newest outlook the next couple of days before adopting a final forecast. The following statement can be attributed to North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta:

Educators, Public Employees Stand United for North Dakota Students and Communities at State Capitol

BISMARCK – Educators and public employees from across the state will join together and share their stories of service to North Dakota students, families and communities with lawmakers in Memorial Hall of the state Capitol on Monday, Feb. 20. Members of North Dakota United, including educators from K-12 schools and university campuses, public employees, aspiring educators and retired public workers, will be speaking with elected officials about the urgent need to recruit and retain quality employees within public education and public service.

North Dakota United Response to Governor’s Budget Address

BISMARCK – The statement below can be attributed to North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta in response to Gov. Doug Burgum’s budget address to the organizational session of the 2023 North Dakota Legislative Assembly.

Bruce Schonberger Selected as 2022-23 North Dakota Education Support Professional of the Year

BISMARCK – As part of American Education Week this year, North Dakota United plans to celebrate all the hard-working professionals at work in our public schools and universities. This Wednesday, Nov. 16, is Education Support Professional Day, which is dedicated to all the amazing staff members we have working for students. On behalf of our more than 11,000 members, we were proud to announce this year’s recipient is Bruce Schonberger, a custodian for Minot Public Schools, at a school ceremony Oct. 24 at Central High School in Minot.

New Polling Shows Educators Still Feeling Enormous Pressure, Contemplating an Early Exit from the Education Field

BISMARCK – 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.

As Vote Looms, State-Conducted Survey of Public Employees Shows Strong Opposition to Closing Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan

BISMARCK, N.D. – The results of the most recent survey conducted by the State of North Dakota’s Human Resource Management Services (HRMS) Division show strong employee opposition to proposed changes, as the North Dakota Legislature’s Interim Retirement Committee prepares to take a vote on the future of the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS) defined-benefit retirement plan.


National Task Force, Including NDU President Archuleta, Releases Report on Educator Shortage

BISMARCK, N.D. – Delegates to last week’s American Federation of Teachers biennial national convention adopted a report that addresses the teacher and education support professionals shortage plaguing K-12 schools across the nation. The report, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?, is the product of the AFT’s Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force, which is comprised of 25 state affiliate and local leaders, including North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta.


Six Midkota Graduates Receive First Scholarships from $1 Million Wurst Scholarship Fund

BISMARCK, N.D. – On Saturday, May 21, 11 high school seniors graduated from Midkota Public School. For six of these graduates, a local man they likely never met or knew, left part of the sizeable estate he grew during his lifetime as an investment in theirs.

Poll: Crushing Workloads, Stagnant Pay, Political Interference Push ND Educators to Consider Leaving Jobs at Alarming Rate

BISMARCK, ND – Poll results released today by North Dakota United, the state’s foremost association of public educators and employees, shine a bright light on a growing educator retention crisis 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.”


Landmark federal settlement will lead to student debt relief for North Dakota’s public educators and employees

BISMARCK, N.D. — After years of legal battles to ensure the effective administration of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public servants will be getting substantial relief from crippling student debt.

On Oct. 12, 2021, the American Federation of Teachers announced that they had reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education in the case of Weingarten v. DeVos, filed in July 2019 to hold the federal government accountable for its failure to manage the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. In North Dakota, many of the educators and public employees affected by this settlement are members of North Dakota United, which is affiliated nationally with both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.


ND United calls on school districts to provide paid COVID leave

BISMARCK, N.D. – In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic first started its assault on our way of life, threatening the lives and livelihoods of all North Dakotans. Workers in our state were granted leave time from their jobs, paid for by the federal government. This was the right thing to do, then and now, as it allows workers to quarantine when they get a positive test or when a family member has had to stay home because they are sick or were a close contact.

North Dakota United, the state’s largest professional association of public educators and employees, is calling on school districts to use some of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to provide this paid leave for K-12 teachers and staff.


Poll: Challenge of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Poised to Accelerate as Radical Legislative Changes Threaten Public Education

BISMARCK, N.D. – As North Dakota’s COVID-19 cases trend lower, teacher confidence in classroom safety related to the virus has increased. Of the 501 North Dakota United K-12 teacher and education support professional members surveyed, 52% said they feel safe or very safe returning to in-person schooling, up from just 31% in October. Despite this notable improvement in morale, the poll also reveals a drastic shift in the number of teachers who plan to retire without changing professions, largely due to increased stress and burnout. Since July, ND United has worked with DFM Research to conduct four membership surveys of our K-12 education members and support professionals to ascertain their level of comfort in teaching and providing support services during the current Coronavirus pandemic.


North Dakota United Response to Governor’s 2021-23 Budget Address

BISMARCK, N.D. – Below is a statement from North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta in reaction to Gov. Doug Burgum’s budget address on Thursday to the organizational session of the 2021 North Dakota Legislature:

“Governor Doug Burgum did an outstanding job this morning of outlining his budget priorities for the 2021-2023 biennium. While the executive budget provides a good starting point in the negotiations on the budget, it could be improved.


Christina Cahill of Rolla to Receive NDU ESP of the Year Award

BISMARCK, N.D. – The 11,500 members of North Dakota United and our local affiliate, Rolla Education Association, are proud to announce that Christina Cahill, a paraprofessional at Mt. Pleasant K-12 School in Rolla, has been selected as the 2021 NDU Education Support Professional of the Year.


ND United President Nick Archuleta Statement on COVID-19 Actions

Statement by North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta on Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19:

“On behalf of North Dakota United’s 11,500 members, I want to thank Gov. Doug Burgum for taking important and decisive action to mitigate the horrendous effects of the Coronavirus and COVID-19.


Poll: North Dakota United Members Support Doing More to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The explosive rate at which COVID-19 has spread across our state in the past month is the source of growing concern among North Dakotans, including the men and women who educate our children. North Dakota United, whose 11,500 members include K-12 teachers and other public employees, commissioned a survey of our teacher and education support professionals in an effort to ascertain their level of comfort in teaching and providing support services during the current Coronavirus pandemic.


ND United, MRACTC to Offer Career Awareness and Exploration Series

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota United proudly announces a new partnership with the Missouri River Area Career and Technical Education Center (MRACTC), to provide more than 70 10th grade Native American students the opportunity to participate in our Career Awareness and Exploration Series. Through a grant provided to ND United by the NEA Foundation, these students from the rural districts of Standing Rock Community High School, Solen High School, Selfridge High School and White Shield High School will be able to attend and participate in a fun and interesting series of career exploration.


Fargo South EL educator Leah Juelke receives prestigious national award

BISMARCK, N.D. – Leah Juelke, a language arts educator for English learner (EL) students at Fargo South High School and the 2018 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, has received another prestigious award of recognition for her service in education. On Friday, Feb. 8, Juelke was presented the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence and $10,000 at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C. She was among only five educators to receive the Horace Mann Award nationally.


ND United President Archuleta Reacts to Governor’s Budget Proposal

Statement by North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta regarding the budget proposals of Governor Doug Burgum:

“There are thousands of dedicated public employees, including public school teachers, who work tirelessly in service to the people, students and communities of North Dakota.

“Today, Governor Burgum has announced an important first step to provide relief to state employees across North Dakota with his proposal to allocate funding to modestly enhance salaries for public employees. After two years without a salary increase, state employees are appreciative of the acknowledgement that they are indeed deserving of an increase in compensation.”


Denbea McNally Selected as Education Support Professional of the Year

BISMARCK, N.D. – The members of North Dakota United and the Minot Education Association are proud to announce that Denbea McNally, a special education paraprofessional at Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Minot, has been selected as the 2019 NDU Education Support Professional of the Year.

A school assembly was held at Lewis & Clark on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, starting at 10:30 a.m. Remarks were made by Lewis & Clark Principal Pat Slotsve to the entire school, and McNally was announced as the statewide award winner by ND United President Nick Archuleta.


Heitkamp, Collins receive special awards at NDU Delegate Assembly

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota United, the union of 11,500 public educators and employees statewide, bi-annually hosts its Delegate Assembly each April, bringing together members from all across the state in the same place and charting the course of our union for the next year.

This year’s NDU Delegate Assembly was held on Saturday, April 14, at the National Energy Center for Excellence, on the campus of Bismarck State College. At this event, NDU members presented their two highest honors to two of North Dakota’s best. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was named as the Adrian R. Dunn Friend of Education, and former executive director of the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System, Sparb Collins, was awarded as Friend of Public Employees.

BISMARCK, N.D. – When a water main burst at Robert Miller Elementary School in Bismarck on March 19, several teachers there lost personal items and property in the flood. North Dakota United, the union of 11,500 public educators and employees statewide, collects funds annually into a Disaster Relief Fund for occasions such as this, and the nine teachers who are members of their local affiliate of NDU, the Bismarck Education Association, received checks today from NDU President Nick Archuleta.


North Dakota United Announces 2018 Legislative Endorsements

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota United is proud to endorse the following North Dakota state legislators for re-election in 2018. “Their advocacy and support of legislation to strengthen our great public schools, higher education and outstanding public service over the past two legislative sessions is something of which they can be very proud,” said NDU President Nick Archuleta. “Their willingness to work together, regardless of political persuasion, to find solutions to challenges is inspiring and much appreciated by our members and the people of North Dakota.”


The Cutting Ed Podcast Will Showcase Innovators in Education

North Dakota United is proud to announce this groundbreaking partnership we have formed with Dintersmith, as well as the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, to present a weekly podcast, The Cutting Ed, which will facilitate inspiring and thoughtful conversations with all of the stakeholders in our public education system. We’ll be celebrating great teaching practices, interesting innovations, and diving into an innovation playlist ( that Dintersmith has pulled together with impressive national partners to support our teaching force.


Mindfulness Courses Offered for Educators in Grand Forks on Nov. 18

BISMARCK, N.D. – A recent survey commissioned by the American Federation of Teachers has some troubling news about the mental health of our education professionals in America.

More than half of the educators in a survey of nearly 5,000 respondents say that their mental health is an issue: 58 percent said their mental health was “not good” for seven or more of the previous 30 days. A survey from 2015 had found just 34 percent of educators felt that way.


Governor, Students and ND United to Celebrate Reading at Capitol

BISMARCK, N.D. – Students from Dorothy Moses and Northridge Elementary Schools in Bismarck will join Gov. Doug Burgum and North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta for a special reading event and proclamation signing at the state Capitol on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the Memorial Hall, to celebrate the annual National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day.


North Dakota United thanks Senator Heitkamp for vote against DeVos

BISMARCK, N.D. – The members of North Dakota United, including educators and school support staff in every community across the state of North Dakota, stand in firm opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Since the announcement of DeVos’ appointment to the top post in our nation’s public education system in November, our members have been very active, and very vocal with our two U.S. Senators – Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven – who will ultimately vote on DeVos’ confirmation. Hundreds of our members have sent e-mails, letters and made phone calls to our two representatives in the U.S. Senate, urging them to vote “no” on her confirmation.


North Dakota United Disagrees with Partisan Attack on Reading

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Republican Party recently sent out a political mailer to District 42 voters in Grand Forks, targeting Rep. Kylie Oversen. In this piece, the party takes a number of questionable shots at Oversen’s character and her policy positions. Our association disagrees with the content of this mailer, as Rep. Oversen has been endorsed for re-election by the members of North Dakota United. In particular, NDU disagrees with the decision by the Republican Party to use a picture of Rep. Oversen wearing a hat like that worn by the title character of the Dr. Seuss classic children’s story, “The Cat in the Hat.”


North Dakota United Endorses Dotzenrod, Amerman and Kelsh

BISMARCK, N.D. – With the 2016 election two weeks away, contests for the North Dakota Legislature are drawing attention from groups across the state. North Dakota United, the largest professional organization of educators and public employees in the state, has announced its endorsements in several key legislative races, including District 26.


North Dakota United Endorses Robinson, Muscha and Buhr

BISMARCK, N.D. – With the 2016 election just a few weeks away, the District 24 legislative are drawing attention from groups across the state. North Dakota United, the largest professional organization in the state, has announced its endorsements in several key legislative races, including District 24.


Education Associations Join Forces to Support Measure 2

BISMARCK, N.D. – The preeminent education organizations in North Dakota have joined forces in support of Constitutional Measure 2. North Dakota United, which represents in excess of 11,500 educators and public employees, and the N.D. Council of Educational Leaders, which represents public school administrators, announced a campaign to ensure the passage of Measure 2. The passage of Measure 2 is seen as crucial to ensure that K-12 education will receive the funding necessary to provide outstanding educational services for the children of N.D.


North Dakota United Given NEA Grant to Help Teachers Increase Student Achievement

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota United (NDU) will receive $241,221 from the National Education Association Great Public Schools (GPS) Fund Grants. The three-year grant will be used to develop Professional Development Opportunities proven to positively impact student achievement.