As usual, there are a large number of bills being submitted that would have a profound effect on the professional and personal lives of our members and, just as importantly, the lives of the students and North Dakota communities that we all serve, every day. We are tracking all of these bills and will make every effort to share important information, every step of the way, on what is happening at the Capitol, who will be affected and how all of you, our ND United members and supporters, can help in our efforts to lift up positive legislation and halt attacks on public education and public service.
We have been sending out weekly ND United Legislative Update e-mails to our members, with all the latest developments at the Capitol.
We are tracking a large number of bills as session begins, but these areas below will be our priorities throughout the session:
K-12 Funding Increase
Our teachers work hard to provide the best education possible to their students and their pay should reflect that. We are pushing for an 8% increase in k-12 funding, with 75% to be dedicated to increasing educator pay.
Pay Raises for Public Employees
Public workers are often significantly underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts. After several sessions of falling behind on providing necessary raises to keep up with inflation and cost of living, it’s time to get back on track. Our public workers deserve a raise in line with these increased costs, which is why we’re demanding 8% raises in each of 2024 and 2025.
Defined benefit retirement plans provide stable retirement benefits to public workers. Two bills will be introduced to replace the current state pension with a volatile 401k plan by 2024 or 2025. It is imperative that we preserve and invest in our defined benefit retirement plans for current and future education and public employees.
We must ensure that North Dakota makes a long and lasting investment in quality pre-k and child care that pays particular attention to the workers providing these services to set our kids up for success in school and ease the burdens on working families.
Every session, some legislators subject us to the latest voucher scheme with ever-changing language that accomplish the same end: siphoning off critical resources from our public schools to support private education. North Dakota United has always supported the rights of parents to choose the educational setting that is most appropriate for their child, but our public resources should not be used to support private choices. We expect we will see several voucher bills again this session and we will have to stand up and speak out again to let legislators know why we oppose vouchers.