North Dakota funds schools coping with oil boom

Nearly $8 million sent to help cope with rising enrollment.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM
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BISMARCK, N.D., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The North Dakota government said it awarded $7.8 million to school districts struggling to cope with the growth from oil and gas development in the state.

The Board of University and School Lands awarded the money to support more than 30 separate projects, from safety and security needs to portable classrooms to handle increased student enrollment, in districts coping with expanded growth from the state's energy boom.

"K-12 schools impacted by oil and gas development in the state are experiencing significant increases in student enrollment, expanding the need for teacher housing, portable classrooms and other renovations and enhancements to accommodate rapid growth," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement Thursday. "These grants will help our schools address the impacts of increased enrollments and prepare for the upcoming school year."

Oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks area of the state passed the 1 million barrel per day mark for the first time this year. State mineral resources account for 3.6 percent of growth in the state's gross domestic product and Dalrymple in June boasted GDP had increased for the fourth year in a row and topped all other U.S. states.

Crime is up in the state as well. North Dakota Attorney General's Office said drug crimes are up 19.5 percent from last year.

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