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Burgum signs career academies bill

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The first bill Gov, Doug Burgum signed from the 2023 Legislative Session creates a line of credit at the Bank of North Dakota for career academies.

The $68 million will help finance the construction of 13 career academies across the state. It’s needed because federal money through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund has not yet been made available.

The money will be paid back when the federal funds are received.

"There were some projects that did get started," said state Career and Technical Education director Wayde Sick. "They decided to bankroll those projects on their own, with the idea the grants would come in to back-fill."

Sick said for those projects, the next step is to submit the documentation, for CTE to review, and then the dollars would get to them.

"For other projects that have not started working, the next step is to go out for actual bids, start securing contractors and scheduling some start times with the dollars they now have access to."

Sick said another piece of the funding plan for those career academies is still working its way through the Legislature. He said another $40 million is in the CTE budget bill.

"The reason behind that $40 million is to for some academies to complete projects they said they would complete, when they submitted their application back in 2021," Sick said. "Because of inflation and overage costs, that $40 million would allow those projects to be completed."

Sick said with that $40 million, there is a bit of uncertainty yet.

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