Nearly $7 million in grant dollars for immediate school district needs was approved by state officials during a special meeting Thursday morning.
The North Dakota Board of University and School Lands approved $6.8 million from the Oil and Gas Impact Grant Fund for emergency needs to 23 kindergarten-through-grade-12 school districts. The five-member board approved the recommendations unanimously.
State Land Commissioner Lance Gaebe told the board the recommended grants before them were chosen from a total of 42 applications amounting to $21.4 million in requests.
The grants were awarded to requests relating to school safety, teacher housing and temporary classrooms.
“Some of the needs aren’t known until school starts,” Gaebe said.
He said a second K-12 grant round is to be held in the fall to address additional needs.
The largest individual grant awarded was $1.79 million to McKenzie Public School District No. 1. Grant dollars for the district are for school safety upgrades, employee housing, security and lockers.
In other news, a piano tuner by trade is trying to stop the oil industry in North Dakota; he is concerned about his grandchildren going to school in hazmat suits. I wasn't sure if he was talking about his current grandchildren or grandchildren in the future. I don't know where his grandchildren live but they probably don't live in North Dakota. I know Homer's son Bart freely rides his skateboard without a protective suit. But I digress.