Montana 10 pushes up retention at University of Montana

BY: - September 15, 2021

A pilot program to boost retention for students with lower incomes at the University of Montana has moved the dial so far – even surpassing all freshman retention – that the Montana Board of Regents wants its expansion to be a top priority. “Nothing warms the heart of a regent like a program that has […]

Survey: Youth depression high, cigarette smoking low

BY: - September 13, 2021

Roughly 30 percent to 50 percent of high school students in most Montana counties felt so hopeless, they didn’t do normal activities for at least a couple of weeks in the 12 months prior to a spring survey, according to results of the questionnaire. “We’ve not seen data this high before,” said Susan Court, with […]

Even in red states, colleges and universities gravitate toward requiring masks

BY: - September 13, 2021

As students head to college this fall, hundreds of schools are requiring employees and students to be vaccinated against COVID, wear masks on campus or both. But at some schools, partisan politics have bolstered efforts to stymie public health protections. Events at the University of South Carolina, in a deeply conservative state, demonstrate the limits […]

Universal Pre-K and free college part of massive spending bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

Faculty, student leaders call for mask, vaccine requirements

BY: - September 13, 2021

One University of Montana student senator talked about being on oxygen in the hospital for four days before the vaccine was available, and another student talked about losing multiple family members to COVID-19, recalled Noah Durnell, student body leader at UM. A call for heightened safety measures across Montana University System campuses is growing as […]

Montana DOC works to bring Pell program to inmates

BY: - September 2, 2021

Once people leave a Montana prison, Cynthia Wolken, deputy director for the Department of Corrections, doesn’t want to see them again. “Every person who comes to us should have the opportunities and the skills to never come back to us,” Wolken said. So it’s helpful if people who were inmates can get jobs, and good […]

Montana AG Knudsen signs onto lawsuit challenging federal stance on transgender athletes

BY: - September 1, 2021

The Montana Attorney General signed onto a lawsuit alleging a misinterpretation of Title IX by the U.S. Department of Education and identifying the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” — which bans transgender women athletes from K-16 women’s athletics — as facing a threat of inappropriate enforcement by the federal agency. In the case filed Monday […]

Montana is set to approve a $42 million boon to the childcare sector. But a deficit looms large

BY: - August 31, 2021

Montana’s financially struggling childcare sector is set to get more than a $40 million boost, thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funds that a state panel provisionally authorized last week. State officials said the funds, made available by the feds through the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant, are a crucial tool to support Montana’s […]

Gianforte questions mask mandates, issues new rule as COVID cases climb

BY: - August 31, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Safety published an emergency rule asking local school boards to follow state guidance when issuing mask mandates, calling into question the benefits of wearing masks to ward off COVID-19 in a school setting. While the rule does not mandate anything, it encourages school […]

University of Montana kicks off fall semester in person

BY: - August 30, 2021

On the first day of the fall 2021 semester at the University of Montana, people greeted each other with hugs on the Oval, students soaked up the sun on the green grass, and the campus appeared to tiptoe toward normalcy. Coronavirus infections are swinging upward in Montana, and concerns about the pandemic and contagious delta […]

MSU College of Nursing receives $101 million gift

BY: - August 30, 2021

Montana State University on Monday announced a $101 million gift from a pair of insurance executives to significantly revamp MSU’s College of Nursing, which operates on five campuses throughout the state. The donation, from Texas-based Goosehead Insurance founders Robyn and Mark Jones, will go to new facilities at each campus, five endowed professorships, a scholarship […]

Biden administration launches civil rights investigation into states banning masks at school

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in five Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing, saying those policies could amount to illegal discrimination against students with disabilities. The Biden administration notified the education chiefs in Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah and Oklahoma of the investigations through formal letters Monday. The new investigations will examine whether “students […]