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Why Montana schools are struggling with teacher shortages

A classroom with desks and chairs.
Montana Schools are struggling with a teacher shortage.

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.

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Freddy Monares
Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio. He previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, covered the 2017 Legislature for UM Legislative News Service and interned with the station as a student. He graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2017.