Montana Public Radio

Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Donate $3.5 Million To University Of Montana

Oct 21, 2016

Hot on the heels of a recent record-setting financial gift, the University of Montana has announced it’s received another multi-million-dollar award.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has donated $3.5 million to expand a University of Montana math readiness program.

The foundation also gave the EdReady Montana program $2.4 million when it launched 2 years ago.

The foundation says EdReady has helped thousands of students avoid remedial coursework and boosted scores on math placement exams.

Washington Foundation executive director Mike Halligan says it’s a great program with a proven track record of helping Montana schools

“Now those teachers have access to this state of the art program that will give them individualized tools to help students at every level of their math skills,” Halligan says. “Potentially as we evolve this out over the next 5 years into (remedial) English programs and then into a job ready program that will help employers with their workforce development.”

EdReady is an offshoot of UM’s Montana Digital Academy.

Academy Executive Director Bob Currie says 39 states now have programs based on the EdReady Montana model.

“That is correct. We are definitely leading the nation in the implementation of EdReady,” he says. “There are other states that are now looking at our model and talking about how to implement it.”

Earlier this month a Phoenix venture capitalist gave UM $24 million, the largest single gift the school has ever received.