MTPR

Education

Montana State Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature is in a holding pattern entering the final days of the session as behind the scenes deals are being worked out in rooms at the state Capitol.

Lawmakers are attempting to advance politically contentious policies over preschool funding and the  future of Colstrip as time in the 2019 legislative session runs out.

State and local comparison of maximum budgets and cost per student.
Kalispell Public Schools

Three years after a successful bond request to expand schools, Kalispell Public Schools are asking voters to upgrade technology and programming at the district’s high schools for the first time in more than a decade.

Ballots for the levy were sent Monday, asking for $1.2 million to benefit 2,900 high school students taking classes at Flathead and Glacier High Schools, the Linderman Education Center, and the Agricultural Education Center.

Montana student achievement scores for 2018.
Montana Office of Public Instruction


After several years of improvement, Montana’s Native American graduation rate dropped slightly last year, according to Montana’s new statewide school report card which was released Monday. 

Montana Legislature Senate chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana Senate committee voted Thursday to give additional funding to schools and the public defender's office while restoring some money to the state Department of Revenue to better serve taxpayers and collect revenue.

Montana Legislature House chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A state-funded preschool program has been rejected by Montana lawmakers. The state remains among only a few in the country without publicly funded pre-K.

House Bill 755 was tabled on a 9-8 vote hours after its first hearing, Wednesday.

Montana remains among only a few states in the country without publicly funded pre-K.
iStock

A state-funded preschool program is on a fast track in the state Legislature. The policy introduced today is starting to reveal a rare clash between the state’s largest union and Gov. Steve Bullock.

The policy outlining voluntary preschool and the creation of a new state department of early childhood is carried by Rep. Eric Moore, a Republican from the Miles City area.

Bill Aims To Change Education Of Dyslexic Kids

Mar 21, 2019
Montana Capitol.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Sen. Cary Smith has a personal connection to a bill he is sponsoring in the Montana Legislature that would address how public schools screen for dyslexia.

“I thought that we’ve know about it for a long time, so obviously we’ve got great programs going to teach kids with dyslexia how to read, but it didn’t turn out that way for us with my granddaughter,” Smith said.

The front entrance of Stevensville High School, which was built in 1958 and has had no renovations since the 1970s.
Stevensville Public Schools

The Stevensville School Board has voted to run two construction bonds in both the elementary and high school districts before voters in May. The bonds total over $20 million.

The superintendent for the Stevensville Public School District, Robert Moore, says they will address significant needs for both the kindergarten through 3rd-grade elementary building and for the high school -- especially for the high school.


Gov. Steve Bullock signed a $77 million funding package for Montana public schools into law this week.

The public school funding bill outlines an inflationary increase over the next two years to the K-12 public school system, in which more than 12,000 educators serve more than 150,000 students.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

Gov. Steve Bullock’s request for more than $20 million for preschool funding is not included in the legislature’s initial draft of public education funding. 

The Legislative Subcommittee on Education finished its work Tuesday outlining money for public schools for the next two years.

Pages