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North Dakota oil patch schools say they are in crisis
Bismark Tribune ^ | June 1, 2012 | Bismark Tribune

Posted on 06/02/2012 8:22:52 AM PDT by thackney

chool officials in the northwestern North Dakota oil patch say they are in a state of emergency because of an influx of students and need state help.

Schools might need as much as $200 million to handle as many as 3,000 new students next year, Stanley Superintendent Kent Hjelmstad told state legislators during a Thursday meeting in Williston. The amount is double the estimate in a recent study done by a Bismarck consultant at the request of Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Hjelmstad said needs include new buildings, additional staff, more buses, support for a growing special education population, teacher housing and equipment.

"There are literally kids standing there saying 'Where are you going to put us?'" Hjelmstad said.

The oil boom in western North Dakota is drawing companies and workers from around the country. Officials have been working to ease a housing crunch, and as more housing becomes available, more oil workers are going to bring their families, Hjelmstad said.

Several legislators on the Education Funding and Taxation Committee questioned why an increased property tax base in oil patch communities where new housing is being built won't be able to support growing school districts. Superintendents said eventually that will happen, but right now many students are living in temporary housing that doesn't generate tax revenue.

School officials also said they cannot wait until next year's legislative session for relief.

"These are right-now issues because we have to have the teachers by August. We have to have a place for them to live by August," Ray Superintendent Marlyn Vatne said.

McKenzie County Superintendent Steve Holen suggested several possible solutions, including re-evaluating school districts' debt limits, providing low-interest construction bonds and adjusting how oil and gas production tax revenue is distributed.

Committee Chairwoman RaeAnn Kelsch, R-Mandan, said she has suggested that cities assess a fee for new homes being built that could be designated to new school buildings.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: North Dakota
KEYWORDS: bakken; energy; oil

1 posted on 06/02/2012 8:23:01 AM PDT by thackney
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To: thackney
They need a new education model not run by teachers unions, but by private enterprise.
2 posted on 06/02/2012 8:26:24 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: thackney

This is the result of loose immigration laws. If people had to apply to move into a state,county or city then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.


3 posted on 06/02/2012 8:27:07 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Of course I'm right. Sometimes I'm righter than others.)
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To: BipolarBob

Are you suggesting we would be better off requiring the governments permission to move into a new area?


4 posted on 06/02/2012 8:28:22 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

In 1971 our little school was outgrown and they dragged in a couple of mobile homes with open, two or three room floorplans. I had a few classes in those every day and learned everything 6th grade had to offer. I suppose these boom and bust towns will want huge brick and mortar schools with outstanding, pace-setting architectural design innovations so they can double as oil boom memorials in the coming years.


5 posted on 06/02/2012 8:35:45 AM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
It ain't rocket science. We dealt with the same thing when the baby boom generation was coming of age back in the 1960's.

Communities had to plan on whether the increase was permanent or temporary.

If permanent, you built more buildings and/or brought in trailers as satellite classrooms.

If temporary, you either brought in trailers, erected low cost Quonset huts or even contracted with local churches to use their space for the overflow.

Some schools guessed wrong and found surplus buildings on their hands at the end of the boom. Some communities converted them into senior centers. Others sold them to local farmers for pennies on the dollar to convert to hog barns.

Average class size for that era was close to 40 kids. Most of the teachers had to work during the summer to make ends meet. They weren't a separate government pampered unionized elite who earned more in nine months than most of the parents of their students earned in 12.

And, still, we managed to produce better results than most of our modern counterparts. Why do you suppose that is?

6 posted on 06/02/2012 8:36:21 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: BipolarBob

“Let me see your papers pleeeezzee!” (Said with the Nazi accent of the Gestapo guy in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”)


7 posted on 06/02/2012 8:38:43 AM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

“They need a new education model not run by teachers unions, but by private enterprise.”

Maybe then we would have more engineers like we need instead of captain Planet brainwashed idiots we don’t.


8 posted on 06/02/2012 8:41:40 AM PDT by Wildbill22
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To: thackney

I was being facetious. However if a fair mechanism could be found to prevent extreme fluctuations in students to a district, I’d be willing to consider some novel approaches.


9 posted on 06/02/2012 8:45:07 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Of course I'm right. Sometimes I'm righter than others.)
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To: BipolarBob
However if a fair mechanism could be found to prevent extreme fluctuations in students to a district, I’d be willing to consider some novel approaches.

Economics tends to be a good balancing tool. Along with higher demand comes higher prices which brings more suppliers.

In addition to oil, this works for teachers as well. Climbing prices also then to slow down the demand.

10 posted on 06/02/2012 8:48:12 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

ONLINE education for most of what they need!!!! Just do NOT get the teacher’s unions tied into this!!! Perfect opportunity for someone to break the system!


11 posted on 06/02/2012 8:57:15 AM PDT by goodnesswins (What has happened to America?)
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To: goodnesswins

Here’s a thought. Give them all vouchers that will pay for 1/2 of their tuition. If they decide to go online, pay 100 percent.


12 posted on 06/02/2012 9:15:52 AM PDT by appeal2 (Don't steal, the government hates competition.)
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To: BipolarBob
If people had to apply to move into a state,county or city

You mean like they had to in the former Soviet Union?

13 posted on 06/02/2012 9:18:32 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: thackney

http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

ND has some of the worst laws for homeschooling. Change that and tons of kids can go virtual.


14 posted on 06/02/2012 9:18:51 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: thackney

Let educators set up their own charter schools. Private enterprise can act quicker than the Govt. Here is a good use for some of the FEMA trailers. That $67,000 per kid send them to Harvard.


15 posted on 06/02/2012 9:27:57 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Ineptocracy; the Obama way.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Good points — how did America cope in the era of 40 kids in a class, much weaker teacher unions, and other issues? Yet it seems that kids got a better education back then compared to now, in spite of those problems.

I recently saw some talking head show on TV. An older black man was there; I don’t remember his name or why he was there. But anyway, he said that he grew up in the south in the days of segregated schools, and that he got a better education in his segregated school than kids get today in our major cities.


16 posted on 06/02/2012 9:29:42 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Vigilanteman

Ten years ago the crisis was not enough kids. Hell they we’re talking about letting the upper Midwest revert to prairie because of the falling population.

Look up the “Buffalo Commons” idea from the 80’s


17 posted on 06/02/2012 10:04:57 AM PDT by Kozak (The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home JM)
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To: thackney
Economics tends to be a good balancing tool.

In this case taxes is the balancing tool. Build a big expensive state of the art school and the watch the boom go to bust over an Obama/epa ruling. Guess who gets stuck with the bill? (Hint: not the ones who caused it)

18 posted on 06/02/2012 10:16:29 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Of course I'm right. Sometimes I'm righter than others.)
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To: BipolarBob
Guess who gets stuck with the bill?

The people who voted those idiots into office that made that decision?

19 posted on 06/02/2012 10:19:21 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

$200,000,000 for 3,000 kids? That over $66,666 per kid. Additionally, 3,000 kids is just three regular sized schools. Somebody is jerking our chains.


20 posted on 06/02/2012 11:39:37 AM PDT by fini
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To: fini
$200,000,000 for 3,000 kids? That over $66,666 per kid. Additionally, 3,000 kids is just three regular sized schools. Somebody is jerking our chains.

Without trying to excuse all the cost, you should understand the run-up of costs for everything in a true boom.

Hjelmstad said needs include new buildings, additional staff, more buses, support for a growing special education population, teacher housing and equipment.

There is NO available housing. Cost of teacher includes not only inflated wages, but actual housing, not just a housing allowance.

We had stories of some areas of the Bakken production paying $15 for fast food workers, just to keep them.

21 posted on 06/02/2012 11:47:23 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: fini; All

And right in the heart of the oil boom sits Williston, North Dakota, in the center of the Bakken Shale Formation, a massive oil reserve. Because of the oil boom, the city has seen its average wages increase from $32,000 in 2006 to about $80,000 today; unemployment drop to around one percent; and monthly rent for a one bedroom skyrocket to $2,300

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/05/rent-bubble-day-2300-one-bedroom-north-dakota/2106

...there are deals to be found. A 36-foot trailer: $1,000 (but only if you’re tired of “MAN CAMP HOUSING”). A 320-square-foot, soon to be built apartment, in a building that looks like a dense apartment building in Tokyo: $1,000. And if you don’t mind a bit of a commute into the city, a 400-square-foot one bedroom apartment 60 miles from Williston will only run you about $850 a month.


22 posted on 06/02/2012 11:51:42 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Absolutely! It would be an excellent time to take the bold step of privatizing education. Now that would produce some real progress. The worst thing that happened in this country was when government took over education. Innovation stopped dead in its tracks.


23 posted on 06/02/2012 1:20:10 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX ( The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. ~)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Hey! I have a grand-niece who just graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. I should tell her to apply for a job in Williston. The possibility of a job plus the presence of lots of rich bachelors ought to attract her. HaHa!
24 posted on 06/02/2012 1:51:39 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Kozak
I left North Dakota for good in 1988.

The problem wasn't falling population but lack of jobs to keep the kids there. North Dakotans have big families. As the joke goes, what else is there to do on long, cold winter nights?

But I remember the "Buffalo Commons" idea well. We hated it! It was considered a conspiracy of our eastern overlords to depopulate the state. If you Google "Prairie Empire" and "Rural Depopulation" you might even get an article I wrote explaining the politics of conservative states like North Dakota only sending Democrats to Washington to maximize their take of federal pork.

The current oil boom finally ended that. When Comrade Conrad retires at the end of this current congress, there will be no more Democrats in North Dakota's congressional delegation.

26 posted on 06/02/2012 9:12:21 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Kozak
Look what I found!

Buffalo commons link.

Prairie empire link.

27 posted on 06/02/2012 9:21:08 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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