The COVID relief bill passed by Congress Monday outlines more funding for Montana’s K-12 public school districts. State education officials say this round could be nearly four times larger than what districts received this summer.
The Montana Office of Public Instruction announced in a press release that districts across the state could receive $160 million from the federal stimulus bill compared to the $41 million in federal relief aid given out in June.
OPI says these funds will flow through the traditional Title 1 formula used to distribute federal dollars to schools based on the number of low-income students in their district boundaries. Private schools will receive funding through public districts based on their low-income student numbers.
This summer, federal education officials altered the calculation under that program, giving private schools substantially more access to federal aid. By the time a federal court shot down the change, many of Montana’s private schools reportedly spent their extra funding.