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The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has focused for the last four years on recruiting and retaining the best teachers into Montana classrooms.

Under the direction of Superintendent Arntzen, a virtual teacher job fair was held by the OPI on April 17, 2021. This virtual teacher fair was offered to all Montana 400+ school districts. The specific audience targeted were educators in Montana, as well as hundreds of qualified out-of-state educator licensees. This fair provided opportunities for Montana’s districts to recruit from a broader professional pool.

“Over 180 teacher candidates and 24 Montana School Districts registered to participate in the this inaugural educator fair.” Stated Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “All of the districts that participated will receive the master list of teacher candidates. It is my plan to continue to work with districts and educators to support and enhance Montana teacher retention and recruitment by offering a second virtual fair in late June.”

In September of 2020, the OPI’s request to the Board of Public Education was granted to review and revise Chapter 57 Licensure and Chapter 58 Educator Prep Programs to spotlight the flexibilities that are needed while ensuring quality educators are placed in our Montana classrooms. Montana’s rural schools historically have faced challenges hiring teachers. Seventy-three percent of Montana schools have populations of 250 students or less.

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