BECKER (WJON News) - Becker School District teachers continue to work without a valid contract.

While negotiations have been underway since the old contract expired on July 1st, all settlements have been rejected by the union. At Monday’s school board meeting, several teachers and other supporters were in attendance to express their frustration.

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Joe Fisher, a Becker resident, said teachers should be valued as much as building improvements and technology.

Consider these facts. Teachers are the one resource we must all consider indispensable to the education of our youth, buildings, programs stuff is worthless without a teacher or coach there.

Luke McDonald is a 2021 graduate and current NDSU student majoring in education. He asked the board to stand up to those who work to tear down teachers.

In my time at Becker, I had teachers who taught me how to look through different lenses, stay after school to help me with assignments and give me reading recommendations for colleges and scholarships. Now I go on and on about why not to be a teacher in 2024: school shootings, teachers being physically and verbally abused, the long mentally draining hours teachers have. However, those reasons are not something that will deter me from being a teacher. This shouldn't be a battle between the teachers and the school board with the students feeling the repercussions of the school board's inability to help the teachers.

Tonya Hansen says the delay in a new contract will affect teacher recruitment going forward.

I know this is important to you. In your strategic plan, by June of this year, you would create a plan to recruit and retain highly qualified staff who reflect the needs of our district. That isn't happening. In the last two years, 26 Becker teachers have left the district for better opportunities elsewhere, which is about 15% of our staff. Just this year, I've been approached by four colleagues who expressed the frustration with the district, not our building. They're working without a contract and there's no end in sight.

The speakers of the public comment of the meeting were limited to five minutes of speaking time, and the board listed without comment and didn’t ask any questions of the speakers.

After the public comment period, the meeting continued to other items that were not contract-related.

 

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