Baesler announces opportunity to join influential education board

Dale E. Wetzel
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

BISMARCK – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler is encouraging residents of North Dakota’s northern tier of counties to consider applying for the State Board of Public School Education, which plays an important role in the state’s educational system.

The board’s membership includes Baesler, who serves as its executive secretary, and six members who represent groups of counties that are specified in state law (NDCC 15.1-01-01(1)). All six members are appointed by the governor for six-year terms.

Incumbent board member Maria Effertz Hanson plans to resign. A resident of McHenry County, Effertz Hanson represents Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, McHenry, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Towner, and Walsh counties on the board.

Effertz Hanson’s successor must be a school board member and a resident of one of the 11 specified counties. The person will be chosen to complete Effertz Hanson’s term, which ends June 30, 2024. State law says two of the six appointed board members must be a member of the North Dakota School Boards Association, and Effertz Hanson is one of the two NDSBA members now serving on the board.

Eligible North Dakotans who are interested in succeeding Hanson on the board should apply online through the governor’s office. State law says the governor shall appoint new board members from a list of names submitted by a committee consisting of the president of North Dakota United, the president of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders, and the president of the North Dakota School Boards Association. The application deadline is Dec. 15.

The Board of Public School Education acts on requests from school districts to dissolve, reorganize, or transfer property. It supervises the development of a state learning continuum, which identifies skills that are crucial for the well-rounded education of a high school graduate. It has charge of the state K-12 Education Coordination Council, which reviews the effectiveness of North Dakota’s education programs.

Most recently, the board reviewed and approved a historic combination of the Williston city school district and a neighboring Williams County district into a single entity, called Williston Basin School District No. 7. The reorganization took effect July 1, 2021.

The Board of Public School Education’s members automatically become part of the state Board of Career and Technical Education, which oversees North Dakota’s CTE department and CTE programs.

The CTE board will have major new projects to consider soon. During its special session this month, the Legislature approved $88.3 million in grants to develop, equip, and maintain area career centers. Individual grants may total up to $10 million.