Montana Public Radio

Elsie Arntzen

Elsie Arntzen Montana's superintendent of public instruction.

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen is pushing back against the federal education department for proposing a program that would teach educators how to incorporate racially and culturally diverse perspectives into their lesson plans. 

A sign outside of the Bitterroot Valley Community College in Hamilton, MT.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Trustees of the new Bitterroot Valley Community College district took their oath of office this week. They’re now preparing to build the state’s first independent community college in more than 50 years. 

A bill aimed at raising starter teacher pay got its first hearing this week in the Montana Legislature. Montana is ranked lowest in the country for starting teacher wages.

An empty classsroom.

Enrollment in public schools across the state compared to last year is down roughly 3,300 students, according to state education officials. District administrators and education advocates say many of those students are now being homeschooled. The decline in enrollment could hit school budgets now and in the future.

Campaign Beat: Rich Candidates And Poor Coronavirus Plans

Oct 23, 2020

Greg Gianforte writes himself another big check in the governor race. Neither candidate for that office wants to answer hard questions about dealing with the pandemic. And both our gubernatorial and Senate races are getting plenty of national attention.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Melissa Romano, the Democrat running for to lead Montana’s K-12 public school system criticized the current school superintendent's handling of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds. 

Melissa Romano and Republican incumbent Elsie Artnzen disagree over whether or not the state should have followed a now defunct federal rule that led to potentially $800,000 that was meant for public schools instead going to private and home schools across Montana.

Elsie Arntzen Montana's superintendent of public instruction.

Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio interviewed Montana's statewide general election candidates.

Elsie Arntzen is the 2020 Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Arntzen is also the current Superintendent. She spoke with Montana Public Radio’s Corin Cates-Carney.

Elsie Arntzen Montana's superintendent of public instruction.

Montana Public Radio is gathering information on all statewide general election candidates to publish as a resource for our audience. We asked all the statewide candidates to respond to the following questions via email, limiting their answers to 150 words per question. These are their unedited responses.

Elsie Arntzen is the 2020 Republican candidate for superintendent of public instruction.

Schools and universities with current and past COVID-19 Activity, 2020 - 2021 school year. N=58.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

State health officials Wednesday published information about COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in individual public grade schools and universities. The report shows that 68 of the state’s roughly 147,000 public school students have tested positive for COVID-19, along with another 96 cases in Montana's colleges and universities.

The Republican and Democratic candidates vying to be Montana’s state schools superintendent each pitched themselves as the best person for the job during a debate hosted by MTN News on Sunday. The Republican incumbent is an advocate for local control of public schools, saying “one size fits all” policies don’t work. The Democrat challenging her is pushing to expand statewide education programs.