WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp announced two federal grants totaling over $10 million to the Solen School District and the Oberon School District to construct new elementary schools due to the unacceptable conditions of the current buildings.
Heitkamp has long fought for more federal resources to construct a new elementary school in Cannon Ball. In 2014 Heitkamp pressured the President and again in 2015 she urged the U.S. Department of Education to provide emergency grant funding to build an adequate facility.
“This is a great step forward for both Cannon Ball and Oberon – two communities serving Indian Country that are in desperate need for new elementary schools,” said Heitkamp. “When a child shows up for class each day and has to deal with mold growth, rodent infestations, and a building that is literally falling apart, it sends a message to the students that they are not worth an investment in their future. These federal funds are in critical need to build new schools that will finally meet the needs of our children, strengthen their communities, and give them the opportunities for success that they deserve.”
The federal grants will be distributed as follows:
- Solen School District #3, Standing Rock: $5,322,701 in federal funding that will be dispersed over three years to replace the Cannon Ball Elementary School, which was originally built in the 1930s.
- Oberon School District #16: $4,691,494 in federal funding that will be dispersed over the next three years to construct a new Oberon Elementary School, which was built over 100 years ago.
These federal funds are made available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Impact Aid’s School Facility Emergency Grants program. This programs helps to provide funding to schools that face a loss tax revenue due to tax-exempt federal property.