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How Montana is trying to solve its struggles with teacher pay

Olivia DeJohn laughs as she chalks up having found a classroom she loves so early in her teaching career to serendipity. She teaches second grade at Missoula's Paxson Elementary School, a job she quips "fell into my lap." She did her student teaching at Paxson while getting her master's degree at the University of Montana and, as a result, was asked to serve as a long-term substitute for an educator who had to go on leave.

"Originally when I heard second grade, I was like, 'Oh, that's not what I want. They're so young. I don't know if I can do that,'" she recalled in a recent interview. "Now I...


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