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Help spend $33 million in money for ND education

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FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2011 file photo, medical bills and other records are spread out on the kitchen table of a patient in Salem, Va. According to a 2018 national survey released on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, just over 14 percent of people said they belonged to a family struggling with medical bills. That’s a big drop from nearly 20 percent in 2011 but only slightly less than the proportion who reported the problem in 2016 and 2017. (AP Photo/Don Petersen, File)

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is seeking your input on how best to spend about $33 million in federal money the state has recently received.

Right now, DPI has $3.1 million in discretionary federal aid, and a lot of flexibility on how it is used for state and local education needs.

Those funds are on top of $30 million in federal grants that are being distributed to ND school districts as part of the COVID-19 emergency relief package approved by Congress in late March.

DPI Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has set up an online survey for educators, family members, education groups, advocacy organizations and state lawmakers asking for their views on how federal aid spending should be prioritized, improving distance learning and how best to support student learning needs during this pandemic.

The multiple-choice survey is located at: It features four questions and invites participants to add comments as they wish.

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

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