Latest education Reporting

Board of Education approves new teacher licensing rules

For nearly a year, public education stakeholders have been discussing regulatory changes to ease teacher licensing in Montana. The Board of Public Education took one of its final steps toward approving those revisions Thursday after settling more than 130 public comments.

Interest heightens in Bozeman’s school board election

Debates over masking, critical race theory and parental rights have stirred up a frenzy of interest in school board elections across the country. But in Bozeman, four candidates vying for two trustee positions say they’ve largely attempted to disengage from the widespread politicization.

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The battle for Missoula’s school board

The battle for Missoula’s school board

Inspired by their opposition to masking last fall, a slate of candidates have set their sights on Missoula County’s public school board. But a separate camp is fighting to resist the parental rights agenda and steer the conversation back to the board’s long-standing mission.

Early kindergarten on the upswing

Early kindergarten on the upswing

In recent years, Montana schools have increasingly established new kindergarten programs to bolster student success. But the exploding enrollment of kids under 5 has now attracted the attention — and scrutiny — of the state Legislature.

Education in the interim

Education in the interim

Over the past two days, lawmakers on two education-related committees convened for updates on a range of public school issues. The discussions touched on student mental health services, funding for school food programs and concern about an “unfunded mandate” for special needs students under the age of 5.

What the parental rights movement wants

What the parental rights movement wants

Over the past year, school masking policies have served as an on-ramp for a parents’ rights movement to reshape public education in Montana. What’s really driving the debate, and what do advocates hope to accomplish?

A Montana sheriff’s plug for pre-K

A Montana sheriff’s plug for pre-K

Last week, the nonprofit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a national report linking expanded pre-K to reductions in criminal activity and incarceration. That’s a line Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton has touted for more than a decade.

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What a difference a definition makes

What a difference a definition makes

Last week, Gov. Greg Gianforte and state Superintendent Elsie Arntzen opposed adding “equity” to Montana’s teacher code of ethics. But what exactly does the word mean in a classroom context, and how do diverging definitions define the conflict?

 Educational equity: ‘goal,’ or ‘grave disservice’?

 Educational equity: ‘goal,’ or ‘grave disservice’?

A public meeting to review and approve changes to Montana’s code of ethics for teachers became a flashpoint for debate about diversity and race-based education in public schools Wednesday, with the word “equity” drawing criticism from more than a dozen members of the public, Gov. Greg Gianforte, and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen.

‘Survival mode’ in Lame Deer

‘Survival mode’ in Lame Deer

COVID hit Lame Deer Public Schools hard, amplifying long-standing staffing shortages, disrupting routines, and giving administrators, teachers and students new lessons in resilience.

State superintendent pitches revisions to teacher licensing

State superintendent pitches revisions to teacher licensing

The Montana Board of Public Education got its first look Thursday at a host of changes to teacher licensing regulations proposed by Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. Among the revisions are a pitch for reciprocity for military spouses and a shift in which state agency oversees disputes about state licensing requirements.

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