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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

OPI Requests Waivers On Educational Requirements As COVID-19 Closes Schools

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio

The Montana Office of Public Instruction is asking Gov. Steve Bullock and the federal government to waive requirements for standardized testing and instructional time. The request comes days into the governor’s two-week public school closure order in response to the novel coronavirus.

OPI is asking Gov. Bullock to waive state instructional time requirements and to continue providing transportation reimbursements as schools deliver food to students throughout the closure.

OPI is also asking the federal government to waive testing requirements that help dictate federal funding.

OPI held a conference call with district administrators, Montana’s congressional delegation and the Governor’s office Tuesday to discuss issues related to school closures.

Many schools are moving to online and remote learning, but districts are concerned about whether they’ll have to make up any instructional time they may lose out on during the coronavirus pandemic. They’re also worried about continued state funding for transportation needed to deliver meals and physical learning materials to students.

Bullock ordered schools to close for two weeks starting Monday, but there’s anxiety over whether the closures could last much longer.

Aaron Bolton is Montana Public Radio's Flathead Valley reporter.
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