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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Lawmakers To Hear Updates On Montana's Lowest Performing Schools


Leaders of Montana’s K-12 public schools system will update state lawmakers Thursday morning about progress on rolling out the replacement for the federal No Child Left Behind Act following cuts to education funding last year.

The Office of Public Instruction plans to brief lawmakers on the schools identified this spring as the lowest performing five percent in the state.

They’ll be the first to receive special attention from OPI in the coming years as they work to improve their graduation rate, test scores, and other achievement data set under the state’s plan to comply with the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

“We’re definitely trying to do it on a tight budget,” says Susie Hedalen, OPI’s deputy superintendent for education services.

Hedalen says the state expects to have a new online report card for parents to compare public school results under the new standards this December.

Unlike other states, Hedalen says Montana’s report card system won’t be anything flashy and OPI is building this new report card off their existing student achievement data website.

Hedalen says as the state’s K-12 system works to implement this new policy it is also having to deal with unfunded mandates from the Legislature on guidelines for suicide prevention, mental health awareness, sex trafficking and child abuse prevention training.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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