Monday, May 18, 2020 - 11:17 am Categories:

North Dakota State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler is asking for public suggestions about the best uses for federal education aid that was recently approved by Congress.

The Department of Public Instruction has $3.1 million in discretionary federal aid, and considerable flexibility on how it is used for state and local education needs, Baesler said. The NDDPI funds are on top of $30.06 million in federal grants that are being distributed to school districts. The money was included in a $2 trillion emergency relief package that was approved by Congress in late March.

Baesler has distributed a survey to educators, family members, education groups, advocacy organizations and state lawmakers that asks for their views on improving distance learning, how federal aid spending should be prioritized, and how best to support student learning needs during this pandemic.

The multiple-choice survey is here: It has four questions and invites participants to add comments as they wish. One question asks: “What supports would be most helpful to provide effective distance learning for students in the event that we need to address this option again in the future?”

North Dakota’s K-12 students have been attending class via distance education since mid-March, when Gov. Doug Burgum closed schools to student in-person instruction. Many districts plan to continue distance education instruction for summer school.