Texas, battling teen pregnancy, recasts sex education standards

BY: - October 1, 2022

DALLAS — J.R. Chester got pregnant the summer before her senior year of high school. A bright student with good grades, she gave birth, graduated, and was pregnant again when she arrived at college that fall. She was a teen mom — like her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. Her school did not teach […]

University of Idaho cannot dispense birth control, some counseling after abortion ban

BY: - September 27, 2022

The University of Idaho has warned its employees not to provide reproductive health counseling, including abortion, to their students or they may risk losing their jobs or criminal prosecution. According to a memo the university’s general counsel sent to all employees Friday, Idaho law prohibits university employees from promoting, counseling or referring someone for an […]

Reading, math scores slump for Montana students

BY: - September 26, 2022

Fewer than half of Montana students are reading at or above grade level, at 46.1 percent, and just 36.5 percent are proficient in math, according to data released this month from the Montana Office of Public Instruction. The low scores reflect national trends following the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing classroom shutdowns or periods where schools […]

District Court judge rules three laws, including trans-athlete ban, unconstitutional

BY: - September 20, 2022

A district court judge struck down three laws that passed in the 2021 Montana Legislature related to college campuses, ruling them unconstitutional, according to a filing in Gallatin County last week. The three bills included the controversial House Bill 112, which banned transgender athletes from participating in collegiate women’s sports, House Bill 349 related to […]

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

BY: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

Montana education experts take questions on democracy, teacher pay, ‘equity’

BY: - September 19, 2022

With the tenuous state of affairs in government in the United States, are Montana children learning the tenets of democracy? And are students being homeschooled still meeting educational standards? “We’re kind of in a crisis in this country,” said Lorraine Bond, who identified herself as an educator and social worker in Missoula. “And if kids […]

Montana’s educator Code of Ethics partly revised, but without the word ‘equity’

BY: - September 16, 2022

A motion that the Montana Board of Public Education adopt an updated Code of Ethics for educators — with the word “equity” included — didn’t get a second this week. Instead, the Board adopted Thursday a separate motion to accept a couple of changes but send the portion with the term “equity” back to an […]

MFPE, others also object to elimination of ‘trauma’ from educator standards

BY: - September 8, 2022

At the most recent hearing about proposed changes to standards for Montana educators, one teacher said it made no sense that the Office of Public Instruction had eliminated references to “trauma.” Jenny Murnane Butcher said educators need to understand trauma to be able to help children who are showing signs of stress in the classroom.  […]

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

BY: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief announcement in late August. The White House said President Joe Biden […]

Real estate prices, rising rents, put pressure on University of Montana, Montana State

BY: - September 3, 2022

Escalating rents in Montana are putting pressure on campus housing, and both flagship universities are at or near capacity as the school year begins. Montana State University in Bozeman said it has not found a correlation between high campus housing demand and inaccessible real estate in the community, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, […]

University of Montana law professor, former solicitor, nominated to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

BY: - September 2, 2022

University of Montana law professor and constitutional scholar Anthony Johnstone has been nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the White House announced Friday. The news release naming U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominees described them as “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.” The appointment requires confirmation by […]

Montana Board of Public Education hears concerns about axing ‘equity,’ ‘trauma,’ in updated rules

BY: - August 30, 2022

Students who experience trauma at home throw chairs in the classroom, don’t pay attention, and use profanity, and teacher Jenny Murnane Butcher said she sees challenging behaviors every day. “I needed training in how to respond to these trauma-caused behaviors and how to prevent them in the future,” said Butcher, who noted she has taught […]