Oil Patch schools need helpGRAND FORKS - North Dakota needs to do more to help schools in the Oil Patch, increase teachers' wages and address respect in schools, a candidate for state superintendent said Saturday.
GRAND FORKS - North Dakota needs to do more to help schools in the Oil Patch, increase teachers' wages and address respect in schools, a candidate for state superintendent said Saturday.
Max Laird of Bismarck received support for the nonpartisan office from the Democratic-NPL Party during the party’s state convention.
Schools in western North Dakota are facing an influx of students and need support from the state, said Laird, a former Grand Forks teacher and former president of the North Dakota Education Association.
He proposes creating a disaster response structure within the Department of Public Instruction that can assist schools when needs arise.
Laird also wants to see all testing in public schools re-evaluated, saying “it’s time to let teachers teach and not teach to tests.” He wants to see more funding for public education, as well as increased pay for teachers.
Laird has previously sought the state superintendent post but lost to incumbent Wayne Sanstead, who is not seeking another term. Laird paid tribute to Sanstead during his acceptance speech.
“There will never again be an individual who represents public education like Wayne has over all these years,” Laird said.
Three other candidates have expressed interest in leading the Department of Public Instruction.
Former Bismarck state senator Tracy Potter said he will honor the spirit of the nonpartisan office and didn’t seek support from the Democratic-NPL Party. He will go straight to the June 12 primary.
Mandan School Board President Kirsten Baesler and Rep. David Monson, R-Osnabrock, are seeking Republican support at the party’s convention later this month.
The annual salary of the state superintendent is $102,868.
Brad Crabtree received the Democratic-NPL endorsement for the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
“We need to put the public back into the Public Service Commission,” he said.
Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.