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Why Montana schools are struggling with teacher shortages

Empty school classroom
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Montana’s smaller, more rural school districts are having a hard time finding and retaining teachers. About one-fifth of schools in the state have moved to four-day work weeks to recruit and retain educators.

Missoulian education reporter Skylar Rispens recently published two stories in a series about the teacher shortage in Montana. In her reporting, Ripsens found that when compared nationally, starting teachers in Montana are earning thousands of dollars less and at least $6,000 less than starting teachers in neighboring states.

She spoke with MTPR’s Freddy Monares about her reporting.

Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.