Public school enrollment shows fall uptick

Public school enrollment dropped 2.4% in Montana during the pandemic. Now, preliminary data from the Office of Public Instruction indicates that the number of K-12 students in the state not only rebounded this fall but is slightly higher than pre-COVID levels.

Latest education Reporting

Grow Your Own Teacher programs lift off

This spring, the Legislature approved a new Grow Your Own Teacher grant program to help rural schools struggling with teacher recruitment and retention. Now, three recipients are prepping to pave a pathway for high school students to enter Montana classrooms.

How Montana schools want to spend their COVID cash

This week marked the submission deadline for public school districts’ plans for spending hundreds of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funds. The contents provide a glimpse at how Montana schools are hoping to address the pandemic’s long-term impacts.

Making the case for public pre-K

Another legislative defeat this spring left Montana with the dubious title of a “preschool desert.” Yet advocates of early childhood education continue to argue the case for a state-funded public preschool model using data gleaned from recent pilot programs.

MORE EDUCATION REPORTING

Recommending new rules for schools

The Office of Public Instruction has convened two task forces to review the regulations governing teacher preparation and licensing. It’s a routine process, but with many Montana schools struggling to fill teaching positions, it could have a major impact on K-12 education in the state.

ACLU sues OPI, alleging Indian education shortcomings

The ACLU of Montana filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Montana Office of Public Instruction on behalf of tribes, parents and students. The challenge alleges that state education officials have failed to live up to their constitutional Indian education mandate.

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MORE EDUCATION REPORTING

Gianforte vetoes childcare task force

The governor acknowledges that Montana’s childcare crisis is a drag on workers, businesses and families. But federal stimulus dollars, he says, are a better way to tackle the challenge.

Vaccine mandates: truth, fiction, and unknowns

Legislative proceedings stoked questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Montana. Who is — and who isn’t — mandating vaccination, how strict are those policies, and how might HB 702 muddy the mix?

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