Montana Public Radio

Montana Office of Public Instruction

Montana produce sits on a table at the Reimagining School Lunch test kitchen on March 28th, 2021. The recipe testers use local ingredients like these to test recipes for potential school lunch meals.
Megan Myscofski / Montana Public Radio

Farmers and educators in the Bitterroot Valley are researching how to make a healthier and more local school lunch. The two-year research project in Hamilton wraps up this spring.

School hallway.
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Gov. Greg Gianforte Friday signed a bill into law that will create an incentive program for public school districts to pay their early-career teachers a higher wage.

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

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.

 

 


Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Montana Education Officials announced Thursday that a federal standardized test used to assess student progress across the country has been canceled this spring. That leaves the state with few options to monitor student learning progress amid the pandemic. 

Empty school classroom
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Public school enrollment declined slightly this fall while the number of homeschooled students in Montana spiked.  State education officials released the new data Wednesday.

An empty classsroom.
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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.

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.

The achievement gap in K-12 schools between Montana’s American Indian students and their non-Native counterparts has not improved over the past two years. That’s according to preliminary data from a report due to be released by state education officials in late October.

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Nine million dollars in federal grants coming into Montana is aimed at bolstering mental health services for students and their families. The grant announcement Monday comes as schools are beginning to understand how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting students’ mental health.

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Public school students in Montana may miss out on roughly $800,000 in federal aid for laptops, masks and educational services amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a calculation from state education officials after the U.S. Department of Education’s plan for sharing emergency aid with private and home schools was thrown out in court.

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