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Montana News

Federal Grants Give Native American Schools A Boost

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In Heart Butte, the grant money will be spent over three years to improve class curriculum, effective teaching and make the school more welcoming to students and their parents.

The next stage in a federal grant program aimed at improving Montana’s lowest performing schools took another step Tuesday.

The Schools of Promise initiative has given millions of dollars to poor performing schools since 2010. All of those schools happen to be on Native reservations.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau spoke in Heart Butte Tuesday evening to kick off the latest Schools of Promise campaign at the town’s high school.

“There will be a lot of things that we’re going to talk to you about tonight. And what we're going to ask of you is that everyone stay involved with this effort to make this school even better.”

Denise Juneau, Montana superintendent of public instruction.
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Denise Juneau, Montana superintendent of public school.

Over the next year Schools of Promise will work with teachers, administrators and students in Heart Butte to create a plan for the expected $1.4 million in aid the high school will receive.

That money will be spent over three years to improve class curriculum, effective teaching and make the school more welcoming to students and their parents.

Superintendent Juneau says the money that supports the Schools of Promise initiative is not included in next year’s federal budget.

The State legislature has shot down attempts to fund this program, according to Montana House Representative Susan Webber.

Heart Butte High School has already been awarded its grant, but if this kind of funding is kept off of federal and state budgets, Heart Butte could be one of Montana’s last Schools of Promise.

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