MTPR

Education

Whitefish Middle School.
Josh Burnham

The superintendent of schools in Whitefish has come out against arming teachers. Not everyone in the community agrees.

Superintendent Heather Davis Schmidt doesn’t mince words in her latest column in the Whitefish Pilot.

Young people who’ve experienced homelessness in Montana feel like they often fall through the cracks of programs designed to help kids fleeing abusive homes or needing a place to stay. Stock photo.
(PD)

During the last 12 months, almost 10 percent of Montana high school students attempted suicide one or more times. That’s according to a biannual youth risk behavior survey.

State lawmakers this year responded by requiring Montana’s 409 public school districts to draw up suicide prevention and response plans. A committee that met for the first time Wednesday will – as now mandated by law – develop a policy to ensure those districts follow through.

Elsie Arntzen is Montana's superintendent of public instruction.
Montana Legislature

Federal education officials have now weighed in on Montana’s plan to replace the No Child Left Behind law. Public educators here have been waiting on that since submitting the plan in September

More than 20 officials with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction gathered around a conference room table in Helena Wednesday to hear the federal Department of Education’s response to the state’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

This month Montanans saw bigger property tax bills. That’s because this spring state lawmakers cut block grants to schools in order to save the state $29 million amid the ongoing budget crisis.

The elimination of the block grants to schools was spurred by the state’s more than $200 million budget crisis

PD

Montana’s plan to comply with the federal replacement for No Child Left Behind received Governor Steve Bullock’s approval Tuesday, but it’s still unclear if it will be accepted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Bullock, a Democrat, signed off on the state’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act on Tuesday. It attempts to reduce the achievement gap between students and give states more say in local education.

Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s Office of Public Instruction is unsure if its new draft plan to raise student achievement will comply with federal law.

State education leaders are required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education in September, as part of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which is the federal replacement for No Child Left Behind. 

PD

Montana’s K-through-12 schools could face millions of dollars in cuts next month if state revenues don’t improve. The state Office of Public Instruction warned education groups and teachers’ unions about the possible hit to the agency’s budget during a meeting Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

The U.S. Department of Education will now reconsider the University of Montana’s grant application for a low-income college prep program.

UM’s application for Upward Bound requested just under $2 million to fund the program for 75 students from this year through 2022. But it was rejected because of a technicality; one page was single-spaced, instead of double-spaced.

Rob Quist.
Josh Burnham

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist is traveling around Montana holding rallies where he emphasizes  his stand on protecting public lands. He's also been in the news for unpaid debts and tax liens on his property.

MTPR's Sally Mauk talks with the nominee about his positions on everything from gun rights to healthcare and what he thinks of President Trump.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A bill entering the Montana House of Representatives Monday would create a voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds from lower income families.

House Bill 563, or the Montana Preschool Grant Program, would give children who qualify access to what Rep. Kathy Kelker, D-Billings, says is high quality preschool education.

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