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The superintendent of Fargo Public Schools discusses the district’s LGBTQ policy, teacher shortages, and the start of classes on Monday



Fargo, North Dakota – Prior to the start of the new school year on August 28, the superintendent of Fargo Public Schools provides updates to the district.

According to Fargo Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi, the district is prepared to start classes on Monday with an estimated 11,385 kids enrolled as of the most recent enrollment count on August 22nd. Despite the district’s overall teacher and career shortage, this is the case. The pattern, according to Dr. Gandhi, is not exclusive to Fargo Public Schools.

“In the state of North Dakota, there’s more open positions than we even have available workers across the board. If I pull up our job board in Fargo Public Schools, it does say there are 20 [open positions for] licensed educators and specialists… there is a couple components where that number might not be accurate.”

According to Dr. Gandhi, this excludes candidates who are presently being hired or who are undergoing interviews for the open positions. It also does not take into account internal district improvements, such as reducing class sizes to reduce the initial need for teachers. Dr. Gandhi responds that he is not aware of any student educators who are currently occupying any classrooms in the district, when asked if Fargo Public Schools is making use of an emergency request that permits local university student educators to enter classrooms in place of teachers.

Dr. Gandhi also offered his thoughts on the district’s choice to adhere to federal law rather than state legislation that has an effect on LGBTQ children. A district representative claimed in a written statement that N.D.C.C. 15.1-06-21directly conflicts with federal law by requiring instructors and school districts to treat transgender pupils differently based simply on their gender identity. Dr. Gandhi reaffirmed his pledge to disregard state law and instead abide by federal directives.

“We determined that there are some components of the state law that was passed that conflict with federal law, even the guidance we get from the Department of Education at a federal level. We are going to follow federal law when we see that conflict and that is going to be our position and practice as Fargo Public Schools.”