During an in-person meeting last week, officials from every level of Montana’s education system discussed shared goals and challenges for students and educators in the state. Though most were optimistic about the trajectory of Montana schools, one member of the Board of Regents raised a concern about high school graduates opting not to continue their…
Latest education Reporting
Public schools nationwide are embroiled in a range of hot-button debates, from parental rights to critical race theory. Those topics were on the menu for Montana educators Tuesday during the Office of Public Instruction’s School Law Conference.
The Comprehensive School and Community Treatment program, which places mental health workers in schools, is beset by an ongoing shortage of therapeutic staff, funding changes, and bureaucratic confusion. How are Montana schools muddling through?
School food programs across Montana are struggling to acquire even basic ingredients as the nation’s supply chains tangle. Added to the mix are ongoing recruitment and retention issues in urban and rural lunchrooms.
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MORE EDUCATION REPORTING
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last year, 137 Montana schools employed unlicensed teachers, more than half of them in rural areas. MTFP partnered with the Hechinger Report to investigate how continued barriers to teacher certification are impacting administrators, teachers and classrooms.
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.
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