FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 6th, 2019

 

***Release***
Schmidt Shortchanges Schools

Land Commissioner Jodi Smith, believes that more than $120 million in state revenue from the oil-rich Fort Berthold reservation should have been deposited over the past decade in two constitutional funds that benefit schools. Instead, the money was spent elsewhere.

“It goes without saying 120 million is devastating to schools,” Says Retired School Superintendent, Warren Larson (Chair of the North Dakota Democratic- NPL) “We must do right by these schools, the teachers, and the students. Bailing Kelly Schmidt out who has spent a decade making mistakes resulting in our students being shortchanged, and causing increased property taxes is not the path we should take.” 

A major benefit of having an oil-rich state is the fact that schools should not lack any resources. If Kelly Schmidt was doing her job correctly for the past ten years, the story of public education in North Dakota could be very different. The burden of her mistakes falls on the public schools that face the issues of increasing class sizes, and shortened school weeks. Schmidt is to blame for a decade’s worth of shortchanging all North Dakota public schools, her absolute refusal to take any responsibility adds insult to injury.

Not surprising that State Republicans are playing the blame game, blaming “ambiguous language in state law.” They seek to bail out incompetent Kelly Schmidt and point the finger at everyone except her. The Republicans are showing sympathy towards Schmidt, instead of the thousands of students, who have spent the entirety of their education being shortchanged and cheated from valuable services.