U.S. House committee approves bills on whole milk, condemns sheltering migrants in schools

BY: - June 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee on Tuesday passed several bills that are a rebuke of not only the Biden administration’s policies on immigration, child nutrition and healthcare, but regulations from the Obama era. The committee passed a resolution that condemns the use of public schools to shelter undocumented people, a bill […]

U.S. Senate votes to block student loan relief, White House will veto

BY: - June 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to overturn the Biden administration’s one-time student debt relief plan that is on hold due to a pending Supreme Court decision. President Joe Biden has vowed to veto the resolution, but the 52-46 vote forced vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2024 to take a public stance on […]

DPHHS declines millions in federal food assistance for children as food banks see soaring need

BY: - May 31, 2023

Under the Gianforte Administration, Montana is opting out of $10 million of federal money that would have paid for children’s meals this year, according to an estimate from the Montana Food Bank Network. Citing administrative burdens, a Department of Public Health and Human Services spokesperson said in an email Tuesday the state will not participate […]

Biden student debt relief plan revoked in U.S. House vote

BY: - May 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday voted to overturn the Biden administration’s one-time student debt relief plan that is currently on hold awaiting a Supreme Court decision expected within weeks. Before the 218-203 vote on the resolution, the White House said President Joe Biden would veto it, arguing that the U.S. Department of Education has the legal authority […]

Debate about holding back third graders roils state legislatures

BY: - May 20, 2023

Should third graders who don’t read well enough to pass a standardized test repeat their grade? That question is roiling states, with some choosing to keep the practice, some to modify it and others to scrap it. Most states require students to take standardized tests that measure progress in reading and math in the third […]

Controversial education bills signed into law

BY: - May 19, 2023

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Friday a controversial special education bill, a pair of charter school bills, and other education legislation — and opponents pledged a couple of the measures would be in court in short order and deemed unconstitutional. “Our focus in education is and has always been advancing commonsense reforms to support teachers, empower […]

Students learn about Space Force, then get letter from VP Harris

BY: - May 1, 2023

When Jennifer Huppert’s fifth-grade class at Boulder Elementary in Billings received a manila envelope in the mail, she thought it was probably another piece of junk mail sent in an official looking wrapper with a Washington, D.C., return address. Huppert is constantly getting all sorts of offers, gimmicks and programs that arrive on her desk […]

After the housing boom comes the school boom: Some districts seeing huge growth

BY: - April 29, 2023

Housing may be just the beginning of problems for Montana. While the state tackles a crisis of affordable housing in the state, exacerbated by a rush of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, other signs of stress and growth are beginning to show in other areas. More people will mean more streets, more water treatment plants, […]

Charter school bills pass after reconsideration, push from Majority Leader Fitzpatrick

BY: - April 28, 2023

Republicans revived two foot-in-the-grave charter school bills on Friday and pushed them over the finish line in the Senate after Majority Leader Steve Fitzpatrick urged his caucus to let the courts decide their fate. Five Republican senators who had previously voted against House Bill 562 changed their votes after the admonition from Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, […]

Controversial education bill advances, but two charter bills fail on second reading

BY: - April 26, 2023

Two charter school bills failed on the Senate floor Wednesday on second reading, but separate legislation a lawyer said has the potential to cost local school districts and the state $151 million a year advanced 26-24. All three bills had raised constitutional concerns with legislative legal staff. Two were seen as competing proposals to allow […]

Teacher residency program, literacy intervention, advancing

BY: - April 24, 2023

Nine new teachers have signed contracts with school districts where they completed a pilot residency program, said Rep. Brad Barker, R-Roberts. That’s a big deal in a state with a teacher shortage, and Barker said the program should continue. Friday, Senate Finance and Claims heard House Bill 833, to address the teacher shortage. It also […]

A pandemic experiment in universal free school meals gains traction in the states

BY: - April 22, 2023

WASHINGTON —  Every public school kid in the United States was eligible for free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of family income, thanks to the federal government. While that’s now ended, a growing number of states across the country are enacting universal school meal laws to bolster child food security and academic equity. […]