Annexation is a process outlined in North Dakota Century Code Chapter 15.1-12, which allows alterations of school district boundaries through the removal of real property from one district and its subsequent attachment to another contiguous school district.
There are two forms of annexations:
- Regular annexation – requires a petition signed by two-thirds of the residents on the land in question. Regular annexation involves taking the annexation through an approval process to allow the land to be attached to a contiguous neighboring district.
- Land exchange – requires the trading of property on both sides of the school district line. The difference in taxable valuation between the properties being traded must be $1000 or less. The properties are simply traded, with each becoming a part of the opposite school district to limit the loss of taxable valuation.
In order for a parcel of land to be considered for an annexation under current law, a school aged child must live on the property and intend to attend school in the district to which the land is proposed to be annexed in the year following approval of the annexation.
The land must be contiguous to the district to which it is proposed to be annexed. Contiguousness under our law means that the land touches the school district to which it is proposed to be annexed at least at one corner.
In order to initiate an annexation, a property owner needs to determine if the land meets the threshold criteria. Sources of information about this issue would be the County Superintendent or Designee, or the Department of Public Instruction.
If the land meets the threshold criteria, the property owner would need to determine the total taxable valuation of the property to be annexed. The valuation of the property per student living on the property to be annexed should be somewhat close to the average taxable valuation of property per student in the district to which it is to be annexed or in the district from which it is being removed.
If the annexation meets these criteria, the next step is to complete the annexation petition (SFN 17811) available from the County Superintendent or Designee, or from the Department of Public Instruction’s website. The completed petition is submitted to the County Superintendent or Designee. The County Superintendent or Designee schedules a county committee hearing to hear the annexation proposal. If the annexation is approved by the county, it is then sent to the State Board of Public School Education for review and approval.
Approved annexations are always effective July 1 following the approval of the annexation.