MQEC was formed in 2001 by K-12 public school superintendents frustrated with the State of Montana’s declining financial contributions to public education and increased property taxes. Over 100 AA, A, B, C and Independent Elementary school districts and six education organizations have joined MQEC in pursuit of adequate funding for public education. We are the largest education advocacy organization in Montana, representing public school districts ranging from large to small, rural to urban, and east to west, as well as the teachers, trustees, and administrators who serve our students.
Article X of the Montana State Constitution states that “… The legislature shall provide a basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools.” In our role as "Constitutional Guardians", a group of plaintiffs—backed by MQEC—filed suit in 2004 seeking adequate and cost-based school funding to fulfill the promise of quality public education. MQEC successfully litigated against the state of Montana which led to adoption of a meaningful, constitutionally-enforceable definition of the Basic System of Quality Schools in MCA 20-9-309.
MQEC continues to successfully advocate for adequate and equitable funding for Montana's K-12 public schools. With additional courtroom success in 2011 and unprecedented collaboration with educational partners in the 2013 legislative session, today each public school district in Montana annually receives approximately$940 per student in additional funding as a result of MQEC's efforts.