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 […]

Feds extend Pell grant program to allow prisoners to get college education

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: Pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities to earn […]

Parents, nonprofit sue Missoula schools over mask mandates

BY: - August 27, 2021

A handful of parents are suing three Missoula school districts over the mandatory mask policies arguing the science behind masking is flawed and unconstitutionally interferes with their children’s freedom of expression. Of 12 plaintiffs, 11 are parents suing on behalf of their children enrolled at the three schools named in the suit, including one set […]

Democrats seek support services for survivors of Native American boarding schools

BY: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers are pushing federal agencies to provide support for survivors of and communities affected by American Indian boarding school policies, the decades-long practice of forcibly sending Native American children to faraway boarding schools that rejected their tribal cultures. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) sent a request this month […]

Title IX complaint amended, 18 more women contacted plaintiffs, lawyers

BY: - August 19, 2021

Another 18 women with similar allegations have contacted the four plaintiffs or lawyers involved in filing a Title IX gender discrimination and harassment lawsuit against the University of Montana and Montana University System, according to an amended complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. The amended complaint requests a class certification for female […]

Biden faces down GOP governors on mask mandates at school

BY: - August 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — With eight states so far prohibiting schools from levying mask requirements, President Joe Biden is pledging that his administration will use all of its oversight and legal authority to stick up for local officials trying to keep their schools safe. What remains to be seen is how far the federal government can or will […]

MSU, UM, call for indoor masks as fall semester kicks off

BY: - August 18, 2021

Wear your face masks indoors on campus. That’s the message this week from Montana State University President Waded Cruzado and University of Montana President Seth Bodnar to students, faculty and staff. Both presidents cited the highly transmissible delta variant as one reason for their requests and also urged people to get COVID-19 vaccinations. “As we […]

Faculty leaders to Regents: We want mask mandate

BY: - August 16, 2021

With COVID-19 rates rising again just as students return to college, faculty leaders with the Montana University System asked the Board of Regents on Monday to reinstate a mask mandate for indoor spaces – but the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education is not in support of a systemwide requirement. “Faculty from campuses in […]

Steep construction increases hit Montana University System

BY: - August 16, 2021

The steep hike in construction costs has hit Montana State University in Bozeman to the tune of $18.2 million, a roughly 30 percent increase on a $60 million project to rebuild its Student Wellness Center. However, the student fee will remain the same, $58 a semester, due to a lower interest rate on the bond, […]

Federal government pushes back on Florida, DeSantis on masks in schools

BY: - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has written Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis saying that if his administration withholds state funding from school districts that enact mask mandates, those schools can use federal coronavirus relief dollars to make up for the penalties. In a letter to DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote […]

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

BY: - August 8, 2021

 WASHINGTON—The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they […]

MSU receives $2.2M to recruit, graduate American Indian and Alaska Native nurses

BY: - August 5, 2021

A $2.2 million federal grant will help support students enrolled in a Montana State University program that aims to recruit and graduate American Indian and Alaska Native nurses, according to a news release from the campus. The four-year Nursing Workforce Diversity grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will allow the MSU College of Nursing to offer […]