Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, opens testimony on his House Bill 234, which aims to criminalize teachers and school librarians who provide students with material deemed to be "obscene," on Friday, April 7 in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.

Senate committee amends Phalen’s obscenity bill to keep decisions in hands of locals

BY: - April 12, 2023

The Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee put the knife to Rep. Bob Phalen’s obscenity bill on Wednesday, which sought to punish schoolteachers and school librarians who provide “obscene” material to students, amending the bill to effectively maintain local control over what materials are available to kids in school and clarifying existing law surrounding obscenity. […]

Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, opens testimony on his House Bill 234, which aims to criminalize teachers and school librarians who provide students with material deemed to be "obscene," on Friday, April 7 in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.

Opponents ask committee to kill Montana ‘obscenity’ bill as backer calls for book burning

BY: - April 10, 2023

Backers of an obscenity bill that seeks to criminalize school staff told a Senate committee Friday afternoon the committee chair was censoring speech when a proponent tried to read passages from a book aloud, while another told lawmakers: “It looks like there needs to be some book burning.” “In the proponent testimony today, I heard […]

As book banning becomes more popular, some experts predict some libraries will just close

BY: - April 9, 2023

Amid the national uproar about whether to allow students access to a wide variety of books, the superintendent of a Virginia school district this week proposed a sweeping solution: Get rid of school libraries altogether. Mark Taylor, who leads the district in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, suggested at a recent school board meeting that eliminating libraries […]

Biden rule on transgender athletes would set conditions on school sports bans

BY: - April 6, 2023

The Biden administration will advance a rule to make it more difficult for schools to exclude transgender youth athletes from competition based on their gender identity, a senior U.S. Education Department official told reporters Thursday. The proposed rule would prohibit blanket bans of transgender athletes competing in sports consistent with their gender identity. But it […]

States seek to ease child care crunch

BY: - April 2, 2023

States are spending more money and creating new incentives to ease the severe child care crisis, with most federal pandemic aid set to dry up in September. The child care shortage costs the United States $122 billion in lost earnings, productivity and revenue each year, according to ReadyNation, a consortium of business leaders under the umbrella of […]

Montana State University students raise safety, other concerns after threats

BY: - March 30, 2023

​​One Montana State University student recently told the Board of Regents about sleeping on a friend’s couch for a month out of fear of being on campus over threatening emails sent to the Queer Straight Alliance. One student who is LGBTQ+ lost weight because of fear of going to the dining hall, according to a […]

Rep. Alice Buckley, D-Bozeman, urges the House floor to vote for House Bill 648 on its second reading on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Best Beginnings Scholarship expansion clears initial House vote with bipartisan support

BY: - March 27, 2023

On its first floor vote Monday, 23 House Republicans joined all 32 Democrats to advance Bozeman Democratic Rep. Alice Buckley’s bill to expand the Best Beginnings Scholarship program, which provides child care scholarships for low-income families in Montana. Three Republicans spoke up in favor of House Bill 648, saying it would be a benefit for […]

DOJ memo on threats to local school boards lambasted by Republicans at U.S. House hearing

BY: - March 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on Thursday continued to press accusations that a “woke agenda” is deteriorating parents’ rights in their local school districts. The first hearing this Congress of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government convened to examine whether a 2021 Department of Justice memo played a role in […]

GOP bill establishing a federal parental bill of rights passed in U.S. House

BY: - March 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on Friday passed a bill designed to empower parents to inspect books and other teaching materials in local public schools, but Democrats sharply criticized the measure, saying it would censor teachers and ban books. The legislation, called the Parents Bill of Rights, passed on a 213-208 vote. It would codify federal education law to […]

Education budget funds more staff for new Heritage Center, ongoing language preservation

BY: - March 22, 2023

In the past, the Montana Indian Language Preservation Program didn’t have guaranteed funding, but it may have it soon. Wednesday, the Montana House took up the big budget bill that covers state spending for the next two years, and Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, said money for education includes paying for that program “on an ongoing […]

Biden administration details potential cuts in education, food aid and more under GOP plan

BY: - March 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — Federal departments and agencies say U.S. House Republicans’ plans to cut federal spending would result in reductions to key programs like food aid, education assistance and wildfire management. The series of letters from across the federal government released Monday detail exactly how plans to cut at least $130 billion in domestic spending during […]

Montana Board of Regents chairwoman: ‘I take these concerns incredibly seriously’

BY: - March 15, 2023

The chairperson of the Montana Board of Regents said Wednesday the board is taking seriously the concerns of students who allege universities are trampling on their constitutional rights. This week, legislators heard testimony on a bill to amend the constitution to give some power over the public university system to the Montana Legislature. Students, many […]