State Representative Jim Kasper aims to "claw back" funding from school districts promoting CRT

Image by WDAY News Staff
Image by WDAY News Staff

(Bismarck, ND) -- North Dakota State Representative Jim Kasper says he will push for legislation aimed at taking state funding away from school districts which continue to teach critical race theory. 

"So we are going to put in that next legislation what I would call a claw back. The school districts in the state of North Dakota that fail to follow the law, there is going to be an opportunity for claw back of their state dollars that are appropriated to that school district until they follow the law," said Kasper.  

Kasper made the comment during a public hearing in Bismarck Thursday, focused on proposed rules for enforcing the state ban on CRT instruction. Kasper and other lawmakers say they'll target the issue once again during the next legislative session, after receiving a letter from a former teacher in Grand Forks Public Schools, who resigned his position after alleging the district continues to teach CRT. 

The input gathered Thursday will be used by the state department of public instruction in finalizing rules for enforcing the state law. A legislative committee is expected to adopt rules for enforcing House Bill 1508 during the next legislative session.    

Former Kensal Public Schools Superintendent Tom Tracy criticized the state department of public instruction for failing to enforce the state law banning the teaching critical race theory in classrooms.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says her office does not have the capability to enforce the law.

Baesler did not attend the hearing. A representative for the Department of Public Instruction said Baesler was attending a conference on public funds management. 

"This is relevant to her role as superintendent and as a member of the Board of University and School Lands, which manages the Common Schools Trust Fund — a fund that provides hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of aid that benefits public schools," said department spokesman Dale Wetzel.