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In November 2005, The Gazette had an article entitled "Hard lessons — rural schools struggle to recruit, retain teachers."

The article mentioned that administrators were having a difficult time finding teachers for their schools, that rural areas couldn't recruit teachers because no one wanted to live in remote areas, and Montana couldn't compete on the pay scale.

What I find is that administrators are not looking for good seasoned teachers, but teachers fresh out of college because they will cost them less money on the pay scale. I totally disagree that Montana is short of teachers and that Montana can't compete on the salary scale. It is true that Las Vegas and California can pay more, but the cost of living there is extremely high. Pay scale is really relative to where you live.

As for living in remote areas, some of us seasoned teachers have no problem with that aspect.

I also believe that many administrators do not have the professional courtesy to send a form letter that simply states, "Thank you for your interest, but we hired someone else."

I think maybe instead of recruiting "new" teachers, the administrators should really cultivate the seasoned teachers who are applying. I just finished up my seventh year teaching and I have a bachelor of science in elementary education with a minor in art. Even though I would like to stay in Montana, I have started looking in other states.

Pam Welch

Miles City

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