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NDU News

Legislative Update: Feb. 3, 2023

Learn more about the latest happenings at the Capitol this week.
Published: February 3, 2023

Key Takeaways

  1. A floor vote was held yesterday on HB 1329, which lowers the lifetime teaching licensure requirements from 30 years of experience to 20 years. It passed with 87 yeas to 6 nays.
  2. There was strong opposing testimony on HB 1532, which would create a school voucher scheme and would directly reduce funding for our public school system.
We have several updates on important legislation to share this week. Now that we’re into February, hearings will be slowing down as bills are amended and debated in committee. Please continue to monitor your emails for updates and Action Alerts as the legislative session progresses.

Lifetime Teaching Licensure Requirements

A floor vote was held yesterday on House Bill 1329, which lowers the lifetime teaching licensure requirements from 30 years of experience to 20 years. With a vote of 87 yeas to 6 nays, HB1329 passed through the House and will continue to the Senate after crossover later this month! We can proudly say that NDU member testimony in favor of this bill played a role in its passage in the House of Representatives. Check out Fargo Education Association President Kim Reger’s testimony here. This is yet another example of how we can influence legislation by collectively raising our voices. We strongly encourage members to continue being the powerful advocates they are as the session continues.


Testimony was heard Wednesday on House Bill 1532, which would create a school voucher scheme in the form of an “education reimbursement program”. There was strong opposing testimony in front of the House Education Committee, where many highlighted that this bill would directly reduce funding for our public school system. Others mentioned the lack of accountability for private schools, the fact that private schools are not required to take all students who apply, and are not equipped to educate those with special needs. 

Click here to watch NDU President Nick Archuleta’s testimony. You can find additional testimony here. This hearing was one of the most highly attended hearings the House Education Committee has ever seen. We know this fight is only going to get more intense as the bill progresses through the legislature. Stay tuned for updates and future action alerts so we can elevate our voices against this harmful legislation.


House Bill 1446 seeks to implement a pilot program to dramatically change the tenure process at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University. The bill would undermine tenure as we know it and implement a process under which the president of the institution could non-renew tenured faculty at any time, under vague criteria and without documentation.

Representative Mike Lefor, the bill sponsor, and DSU President Steve Easton have both stated that they would like this process implemented across the state. Tenured faculty undergo regular evaluations and are subject to policies that ensure accountability without eliminating their due process rights. Faculty at universities across the state deserve the right to academic freedom without the fear of retaliation from administrators. By giving presidents of institutions this unchecked power, we are putting our educators and institutions at extreme risk. A hearing took place this morning where our higher ed members were joined in strong opposition to the bill with other interested parties.


Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education & Public Services

With more than 11,500 members across the state, NDU supports equal opportunities for success for ALL North Dakota students, and respect and support for all educators. NDU members are teachers, community college professors, speech pathologists, bus drivers, secretaries, retired educators and student teachers.