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Feds Approve Montana’s $127M Spending Plan For School Pandemic Aid

Empty school classroom

The U.S. education department has approved Montana’s spending plan for $127 million in federal pandemic aid to help K-12 schools adapt during the pandemic.

Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Artzen says the plan will allow schools to “promote innovation.”

The state’s top priority within the plan is to invest in programs to help students make up for progress lost during the pandemic, to expand summer learning opportunities and to hire more mental health professionals in schools.

Arntzen criticized the federal government in June for requiring each school to submit their own plans for reopening to access the funds. In July, Arntzen announced that all schools could use the same template aiming to make the process easier on administrators.

The Montana School Boards Association also posted templates for administrators for the federal requirement back in June.

Montana schools have received a total of $382 million through the federal American Rescue Plan Act since March 2021.

The latest round of money was released to the state Thursday.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.
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