ND United calls on school districts to provide paid COVID leave

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

BISMARCK  –  COVID-19 first started threatening the lives and livelihoods of all North Dakotans in 2020. Workers in North Dakota  were granted leave time from their jobs, paid for by the federal government. 

North Dakota United, a professional professional association of public educators and employees, is calling on school districts to use some of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to provide this paid leave for K-12 teachers and staff. 

“If we have learned anything during this pandemic, it is that teachers will do everything in their power to continue to teach their students in person,” ND United President Nick Archuleta said.  “To that end, teachers have done everything right in their efforts to mitigate the effects of this insidious virus. Despite their best efforts, and because they work in environments where students are not vaccinated, teachers are at risk of contracting the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. When this happens, our teachers need paid COVID leave, just as they did last year as the pandemic raged. It is clear that school districts should step up and utilize some of the largess sent from Washington in support of their teachers.”

ND United said they are asking every district in the state to hold our educators harmless and to use ESSER dollars to provide this relief.

"Those districts that have already submitted plans for approval should know that those plans can be changed," the organization said. "Together, we can all work to stop the spread of COVID-19."