By Tom Gerhardt, NDU Communications

The Education Funding Committee, chaired by NDU member Sen. Erin Oban, met Thursday at the Capitol.

NDDPI provided an update on waiver applications for innovative education programs, West Fargo, New Rockford-Sheyenne and Oakes have all submitted waivers along with Northern Cass.

Northern Cass had 36 students in its Jaguar Academy and all 36 completed level 4 projects which demonstrates authentic learning/knowledge of a subject. None of the students received college credits or job shadowed this year but they hope to do that in the future.

Legislative council talked about a bill draft — https://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/65-2017/interim/19-0243-01000.pdf — regarding duties of DPI Supt. Kirsten Baesler and her role in a statewide strategic vision on education. Baesler was asked who had not submitted a plan for the strategic vision and she said NDCEL, NDUS and School Boards. ND Small School (Elroy) pushed back on the plan a little bit saying small schools may see submitting a strategic plan as a mandate.

NDDPI presented an overview of English learners throughout the state.

North Dakota United member Amy Burdick (Fargo Davies/social studies) gave a dynamic presentation on exactly what her job entails, which you can view online at:  https://www.legis.nd.gov/files/committees/65-2017/19_5152_02000_1100am_presentation.pdf . She showed an example of coursework and talked about a New Americans course which helps EL students learn about American culture and mainstream students to learn about EL students culture. She said that class has broken down a lot of barriers and lead to a deeper appreciation between both groups of students.