State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen took the public, and members of a regulatory review committee, by surprise this week with a recommendation that Montana nix its mandated school counselor ratio.
Latest education Reporting
In Bozeman and other small cities like it across the West, the population is exploding faster than schools can keep up.
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.
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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MORE EDUCATION REPORTING
Last fall’s school masking debate in Billings inspired a coalition of candidates to vie for control of the nonpartisan public school board. But COVID issues aren’t the only factors turning the 2022 election political.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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