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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Judge blocks the state from approving new public charter schools

A Helena judge Wednesday temporarily blocked state education officials from approving new public charter schools in Montana.

Lewis and Clark District Court Judge Christopher Abbott partially ruled in favor of a coalition of public school advocates who argued the charter schools would unconstitutionally operate outside the authority of the state Board of Public Education.

Abbott’s ruling does allow a newly appointed statewide charter school board to meet, pass bylaws and elect officers. But, the panel won’t be allowed to approve the creation of new charter schools until constitutionality of the law can be fully debated in court.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

He is best reached by emailing
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