Public education in North Dakota
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Education ballot measures
- 11 Studies and reports
- 12 Recent news
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
North Dakota school districts
List of school districts in North Dakota
Public education in North Dakota
School board elections portal
|“||DPI will partner with schools and communities to provide a statewide system of excellent service and support to ensure a healthy school environment that fosters student success.||”|
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the chief administrator of the Department of Public Instruction. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is elected to four-year terms. The current officeholder is Kirsten Baesler.
The State Board of Public School Education is responsible for "final approval of all school district reorganizations, annexations and dissolution plans." Board members serve six-year terms. The board is composed of seven members, six of whom are appointed by the governor. The composition of the board is as follows:
- The Superintendent of Public Instruction
- A representative for Barnes, Cass, Grand Forks, Griggs, Nelson, Steele, and Trail Counties
- A representative for Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, McHenry, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Towner, and Walsh Counties
- A representative for Dickey, Emmons, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Ransom, Richland, and Sargent Counties
- A representative for Burleigh, Eddy, Foster, Kidder, McLean, Sheridan, Stutsman, and Wells Counties
- A representative for Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail, Ward, and Williams Counties
- A representative for Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sioux, Slope, and Stark Counties
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction adopted the standards on June 20, 2011. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how North Dakota compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in North Dakota as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for North Dakota's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||220||0.23%||0.42%|
|Two or more||857||0.88%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in North Dakota attend rural schools. More than 65 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 35 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming), North Dakota has the highest share of eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in math.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for North Dakota was on par with the national average at 3.3 percent in the 2010-2011 school year. The dropout rate was lower than the national average at three percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in North Dakota
School choice options in North Dakota include: inter-district open enrollment and online learning programs. In addition, about 7.05 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: North Dakota state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 13.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 0.70 percentage points, or 4.8 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 14.5 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in North Dakota totaled approximately $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for North Dakota and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in North Dakota totaled approximately $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for North Dakota and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in North Dakota, the average salary increased by 16 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. North Dakota ranked 24th overall, or "average," which was in the third of five tiers.
The main union related to the North Dakota school system is the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). For the 2003 tax period NDEA had: $2.22 million in total revenue, $2.22 million in total expenses and $2.42 million in total assets.
List of local North Dakota school unions:
- North Dakota Education Association
- AFT Bismark
- West Fargo Education Association
- Bismarck Education Association
- See also: North Dakota government sector lobbying
In May 2009, legislation (Senate Bill 2018) passed that mandated the creation of a statewide spending transparency website by June 30, 2011.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked 55 statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- North Dakota Acquiring School Lands Referendum (1912)
- North Dakota Agricultural College Name Change Initiative, Amendment 3 (1960)
- North Dakota Agricultural and Educational Funding Separation, Referendum 1 (1964)
- North Dakota Agricultural and Educational Funding Separation, Referendum 2 (1962)
- North Dakota Basis of Need Payments State Equalization Fund Initiative (1940)
- North Dakota Board of Administration Referendum (1919)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education, Measure 2 (1988)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education, Measure 2 (1994)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education Initiative (1938)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education Members, Measure 3 (1990)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education Membership, Measure 1 (1996)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education Nominating Committee Referendum, Measure 5 (1982)
- North Dakota Board of Higher Education Qualifications and Compensation Referendum, Amendment 1 (1976)
- North Dakota Boards of Education Referendum, Amendment 5 (1976)
- North Dakota Change Name of Agricultural College, Initiative 4 (1958)
- North Dakota Commission of Higher Education Amendment, Measure 3 (2014)
- North Dakota Common Schools Trust Fund, Constitutional Measure 1 (2006)
- North Dakota County Superintendents Referendum, Number 2 (1966)
- North Dakota Dickinson Normal School Referendum (1916)
- North Dakota Earmarking Sales Tax for Schools and Relief Initiative (1940)
- North Dakota Ellendale Branch Repeal Referendum, Amendment 2 (1972)
- North Dakota Final Offer Resolution, Measure 3 (1992)
- North Dakota Healthcare Education Program, Measure 8 (1989)
- North Dakota Higher Education Costs Referendum, Number 1 (1968)
- North Dakota Higher Education Institution References, Measure 1 (1998)
- North Dakota Investment of Institutional Trust Funds Referendum, Amendment 3 (1970)
- North Dakota Investment of Permanent School Fund Referendum, Amendment 2 (1950)
- North Dakota Investment of School Fund Referendum (1908)
- North Dakota Junior College Control Initiative, Measure 4 (1984)
- North Dakota Location of School for the Blind Referendum, Amendment 3 (1952)
- North Dakota Maximum School Taxes Initiative (1934)
- North Dakota Minot Normal School Referendum (1910)
- North Dakota Minot State College Name Change Referendum, Measure 3 (1984)
- North Dakota Prohibiting School Teachers Religious Dress, Initiative 1 (1948)
- North Dakota Reallocating Basis of Need Payments Initiative (1940)
- North Dakota Reform School Referendum (1920)
- North Dakota Removal School for the Blind Referendum, Amendment 1 (1950)
- North Dakota Repeal of Teachers Minimum Training and Salary Initiative (1922)
- North Dakota Sales Tax Increase for Education, Measure 4 (1990)
- North Dakota Sales Tax for Schools and Relief Initiative (1940)
- North Dakota Scholarship Board and Fund, Initiative 2 (1956)
- North Dakota School Board Proceedings Publication Initiative, Number 5 (1966)
- North Dakota School District Reorganization, Initiative 5 (1958)
- North Dakota School District Taxes, Referendum 5 (1963)
- North Dakota School Funds Referendum (1920)
- North Dakota School Trust Fund Deposit and Use Referendum, Measure 3 (1982)
- North Dakota School Year Begins After Labor Day Initiative, Measure 8 (2014)
- North Dakota School for the Blind Construction Appropriation, Initiative 3 (1958)
- North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Membership, Measure 1 (2000)
- North Dakota State Loan Fund Issue (1955)
- North Dakota Tax Allocation, Initiative 4 (1954)
- North Dakota Teacher Certification Initiative (1920)
- North Dakota University "Fighting Sioux" Referendum, Measure 4 (June 2012)
- North Dakota Williston Educational Institution, Referendum 6 (1956)
- North Dakota Youth Initiative, Initiated Statutory Measure 3 (2002)
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
North Dakota received a score of 86.9, or a B+ average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. Except for the "chance for success" category, the state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.4, or a B average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 66.6, or a D+ average. North Dakota had the highest score in the "chance for success" category when compared to neighboring states. The chart below displays the scores of North Dakota and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|North Dakota||86.9 (B+)||68.2 (D+)||85.4 (B)||66.6 (D+)||76.8 (C+)||78.6 (C+)|
|Montana||76.3 (C)||69.7 (C-)||76.3 (C)||69.4 (D+)||73.0 (C)||60.7 (D-)|
|South Dakota||79.6 (B-)||63.2 (D)||73.0 (C)||60.8 (D-)||68.2 (D+)||64.3 (D)|
|Wyoming||79.9 (B-)||70.0 (C-)||79.3 (C+)||66.7 (D+)||90.3 (A-)||78.6 (C+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "North Dakota + Education"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- North Dakota state budget and finances
- North Dakota Department of Education
- North Dakota school districts
- North Dakota
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
- North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction
- North Dakota State Board of Public School Education
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, "About DPI," accessed June 3, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- North Dakota Constitution, "Article V, Section 2," accessed June 3, 2014
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, "State Superintendent," accessed June 3, 2014
- North Dakota Century Code, "Title 15.1, Chapter 15.1-01-01," accessed June 3, 2014
- North Dakota Office of the Governor, "Boards and Commissions, State Board of Public School Education," accessed June 3, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "North Dakota Education Association," accessed April 20, 2010
- Center for Union Facts, "North Dakota teachers unions," accessed April 20, 2010 (dead link)
- North Dakota Policy Council, "State to post expenditures online," May 10, 2009
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
State of North Dakota
List of North Dakota ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Game and Fish | Commissioner of Labor | Public Service Commission |