MTPR

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. 

Elsie Arntzen, Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction,  says the coming cuts could make work very challenging at schools moving forward.
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.
William Marcus

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.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledges that the agency he now oversees, "unfortunately, has not always stood shoulder to shoulder with the tribes and communities it represents." 

But Zinke met with the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee this week to help identify Native American-related priorities for the new Trump administration. It's a job that will likely pull him and his staff in many different directions, because as Zinke puts it, "Tribes are not monolithic":

Efforts To Prevent Suicide Advance In Legislature

Mar 7, 2017
A package of bills aimed at addressing youth suicide in Montana is working its way through the legislature.
File Photo (PD)

A package of bills aimed at addressing youth suicide in Montana is working its way through the legislature. One of those bills, House Bill 381, would allow school districts to create policies and procedures for suicide prevention and response specific to their communities.

Bill To Establish Charter Schools Passes Montana House

Feb 27, 2017
Montana Capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

A bill that its sponsor says would provide additional educational opportunities by establishing a public charter schools act passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 55-44 on Monday.

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

Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction visited the chambers of the state capitol today, speaking to lawmakers about the future of Montana’s education system. Elsie Arntzen, the first Republican to hold the seat as Montana’s top education official in three decades, delivered her Education Address to a crowd of lawmakers and statewide officials.

The priorities Governor Steve Bullock promoted last night during his 3rd State of the State Address were familiar themes from past speeches and from last fall’s re-campaign.

“Fiscal responsibility. Education. Infrastructure. Job Creation. Caring for others,” Bullock summarized.


Gov. Bullock entering the House chambers before his State of the State speech Tuesday, January 24, 2017 in Helena.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Gov. Steve Bullock outlined his goals for the 2017 Legislature Tuesday during his third State of the State address, including a responsible state budget, infrastructure, business growth and education.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen
Elsie Arntzen

Montana’s newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction is accusing her predecessor of misrepresenting student test results to federal officials.

Superintendent Elsie Arntzen called a press conference this afternoon to announce that Montana was not in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education requirements on reporting student proficiency data.

Budget Defines First Week Of Montana Legislature

Jan 9, 2017
Jon Sesso, Senate minority leader and other Democrats at a press conference Tuesday, Jan, 3 at the Capitol.
Freddy Monares - UM Community News Service

HELENA — Montana’s 2017 Legislature has begun to tackle a wide swath of issues, from public safety to infrastructure, from education to agriculture. But as the first of many bills were read in committee rooms around the Capitol last week, it became clear that everything this time around would focus on the budget.

Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

Senate Republicans in Montana released a plan today to tear down Governor Steve Bullock’s proposal for state funded preschool and instead start work on delayed state highway projects.

Denise Juneau is the outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction in Montana.
MT OPI

Last month, current Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau lost a hard-fought campaign against Ryan Zinke for Montana’s sole House seat. On Friday, we chatted about the legacy she leaves as superintendent, her reflections on her campaign for Congress and what comes next.

Montana’s outgoing Democratic School Superintendent, Denise Juneau describes the Every Student Succeeds Act as a more refined version of No Child Left Behind.
(PD)

The federal government this week released its final rules to help states improve their schools and narrow achievement gaps. In November, Montana released its first draft plan explaining how it will comply with those rules.

That means all the pieces are in place to succeed the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, right? Not exactly:

The federal government released rules today designed to help states improve schools and narrow achievement gaps. The ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ provides states a broad framework to support troubled public schools and struggling students.

The first draft of Montana’s plan to comply with the new federal law was released earlier this month.

A troubled federal program that manages nearly 200 schools for Native American students nationwide now has a new leader. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell named Tony Dearman to take the helm at the Bureau of Indian Education (B.I.E.). 

Almost 200 people gathered at the Outlaw Convention Center in Kalispell on Thursday night to talk about Islam, public school curriculum, and American values.

The event was put on by the Flathead Chapter of ACT! For America, a national nonprofit whose website boasts more than 1,000 chapters across the country. On their business cards, the ACT! slogan reads: “Rising in defense of our security, our liberty, and our values.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte toured ExplorationWorks! science center in Helena September 02, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor focused on education today in campaign stops in Helena.

State lawmakers are working on bills to allow funding for K through 12 special education programs to keep up with inflation. One said the funding was "overlooked" last session.

Blackfeet teacher education
Aaron Jacob/Slate / Slate

The Blackfeet Tribe is working to expand teacher education on the reservation. It will soon offer a full four-year degree program that will allow local residents to become fully qualified teachers without leaving the reservation. A goal is to increase the number of Native American teachers teaching Native students.

   A new pilot program will allow high school students in Billings to earn credits toward high school graduation and for college for free.

The project is called High School Connections. It was spearheaded by Montana State University Billings.

Greg Gianforte and Elsie Arntzen proposed policy changes in Kalispell to grow computer science education in the state, May 17, 2016.
Eric Whitney

Today, Montana's Republican candidates for governor and superintendent of public schools called for policy changes to grow computer science education in the state.

What does it mean to speak a language? Fundamentally, it means you can communicate with another person.  Yet when the language is that of your Indian ancestors who go back to the mists of time it means that you carry that unique tradition.

Montana Public Schools have received a $100,000 grant to help health sciences programs in schools. The grant will focus on getting students in rural areas and reservations a clearer path to careers in health sciences.

Changes In Child Care Standards Could Close Provider's Doors
Province of British Columbia

New federal regulations are changing how daycare centers are allowed to operate in Montana. While state officials write a plan for these new rules, some childcare providers are unsure about the future of their businesses.

File photo
(PD)

The University of Montana is celebrating a seven-figure estate gift that’s led to the creation of a new perpetual scholarship program.

The University of Montana.
Josh Burnham

Newly-released enrollment numbers for the University of Montana show there are now about 1,000 fewer students on its Missoula campuses compared to spring semester last year.

Senior High School to Offer a Varsity Letter In Science

Feb 29, 2016

Billings Senior High School will soon award a varsity letter in Science.

Several school officials say the letter in science is the first of its kind in the state.

There are several components to earning that letter. “Part of that is tied to their grades, classes that they take, and their community involvement in STEM related things,” says Craig Beals, chemistry teacher and faculty advisor to the Senior High STEM Society.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

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