From the Nov. 13th Forum: "A recent survey commissioned by North Dakota United reveals that the spread of COVID-19 is fueling an increasing concern among teachers across the state, and a significant number -- *37%* -- of K-12 educators have considered or are considering leaving or retiring early."

A similar survey of Minnesota's teachers found the same. If true, we will have another crisis on our hands as we are not graduating new teachers at a rate that can replace teachers leaving the profession under normal circumstances.

The last eight months has been a trial by fire for brand new teachers. The exodus of older, more experienced teachers is understandable. The 60+% of teachers who have underlying conditions (or people in their homes who do) may be fleeing for their lives.

Our school administrators, board members and communities ought to do whatever they can during this pandemic to protect and preserve this resource of knowledge and experience for future non-COVID times.

School board members acknowledged last week that we pay substitute teachers "Taco Bell" wages and have issues with filling the positions in good years, let alone this year.

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Truth is, we pay the absolute least amount we can pay for all our school faculty and staff. That's just the capitalist truth of the matter. In recent months people have said that teachers should go find other jobs if they do not want to teach in person in full classrooms full time during a pandemic.

Be careful what you wish for.

Cline lives in Fargo.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.