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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Minnesota to get $167 million for teachers, other education staff

Minnesota congressional members announced Wednesday that the state has been awarded $166.7 million in federal funding to for teachers, school counselors and other education staff.

Minnesota congressional members announced Wednesday that the state has been awarded $166.7 million in federal funding to for teachers, school counselors and other education staff.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, Reps. Jim Oberstar and Tim Walz and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The funds will be distributed to local school districts by the Minnesota Department of Education.

About $10 billion of federal education funding will be used to support education jobs during the current school year, with money being distributed to states based on their population.

"One of the gravest threats of this recession is the impact it will have on our education system and Minnesota's children," Franken said in a written statement. "These funds will allow Minnesota to remain a leader in education, give our students the resources they need and save thousands of jobs."

Klobuchar wrote that the funds will help keep thousands of teachers in Minnesota classrooms.


"Minnesotans have always believed in providing our students with a first-rate education, and our educators play a vital role in maintaining this standard," she said.

Berg to hold meet and greet in GF

Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Berg will bring his "North Dakota Way" tour to Grand Forks today.

Berg, who is running against Democratic-NPL incumbent Earl Pomeroy, began the tour Sept. 1 in his hometown of Hettinger, N.D., and traveled to cities across the state.

He'll be at the Grand Forks Victory Office, the local Republican headquarters located at 1923 Gateway Drive, for an 11:45 a.m. meet and greet that's open to the public.

Later today, Berg will hold a grand office opening and barbecue at the Berg campaign headquarters in Fargo.

Hoeven endorsed by PAC

Gov. John Hoeven picked up the endorsement of the FreedomWorks political action committee on Thursday as he campaigns in North Dakota's U.S. Senate race.


In a news release, the committee called Hoeven a "Champion of Freedom" who has worked toward a balanced state budget and 40,000 new jobs since taking office in 2000.

Hoeven is running against Democratic-NPL state Sen. Tracy Potter for the U.S. Senate seat retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has held since 1992.

"As governor, John Hoeven recognized North Dakota's potential for economic prosperity, and made the reforms necessary to keep the state on a positive, sustainable economic path," FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey said in a written statement. "As a North Dakota native myself, I trust Hoeven has the moral character and entrepreneurial spirit to get Washington back on the right track as well."

In the news release, the committee said it would support the Hoeven campaign by leading several get out the vote efforts leading up to Election Day.

N.D. to get $5 million more for foreclosures

A federal agency on Thursday awarded an additional $5 million to North Dakota communities that have been hard-hit by foreclosures.

The grants were awarded by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and are the third round of funding provided by the agency's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The money provides targeted assistance to help the communities redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.


"These grants will support local efforts to reverse the effects these foreclosed properties have on their surrounding neighborhoods," Donovan said in a written statement. "We want to make certain that we target these funds to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight."

The latest round of funding will be provided under the Wall Street reform legislation passed earlier this year. Previous rounds of HUD grants came from two rounds of stimulus funding.

Johnson reports on local politics. Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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