The State of Montana's General Fund Expenditures for FY19, broken out by type of expenditure. Local assistance to K… https://t.co/vrUZPe4mho
Nationwide analysis of Free/Reduced Lunch shows Montana ranked #32 at 42% of K-12 population. Read state-by-state d… https://t.co/WiMe0Kya2Z
Interesting article comparing elements of K-12 funding in all 50 states. A difficult task to compile so much inform… https://t.co/XScfi0lTY1
The debate continues, but the latest research shows mixed/negative findings on the question of voucher programs and… https://t.co/nz6Yna1PZn
National survey shows teachers and administrators opposed to vouchers and charter schools - across the political... https://t.co/zAGJVipb8v
School Funding Around the Nation
2017 Report on Internet and Network Connectivity in Montana Public Schools
During the state's three-year partnership with the Education Superhighway, public education has made great strides in acquiring sufficient bandwith, robust wifi access, and fiber optic cable to K-12 students across Montana. Work remains, however, in providing sufficient bandwith, robust wifi access, and fiber optic cable to all schools and students.
National Survey shows teachers and administrators opposed to vouchers and charter schools - across the political spectrum
This survey queries a number of educational issues, and subdivides responses by political affiliation. A majority of Republicans/Democrats and Trump/Clinton voters oppose vouchers and charter schools.
Washington Supreme Court Wants to enforce state constitution, Legislature "Getting Close"
Following the Court's 2012 decision that Washington's K-12 funding formula was inadequate, the Legislature has worked on a plan to bring about compliance. At present, the state will miss the 2018 deadline of compliance - the majority of funding won't be available until 2019.
Kansas Supreme Court wants to enforce state constitution, legislature has 6 months to present plan
The back-and-forth continues between the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Legislature regarding both equity and adequacy. In rejecting the latest version of the K-12 funding formula, the Court has ordered a new and compliant plan be presented by April, 2018.
Montana's school building crisis: The complete five-part series
Expansion of Education Savings Accounts Considered in Nevada
Nevada's current program offers $5,000 per child per year to pursue non-public education. Tuition as well as transportation can be paid from the funds, which can be used to support private and home schooling. Additional options to be considered include a waiver of the 100-day waiting period after a student withdraws from public school, or elimination of the waiting period altogether.
Universal Pre-K in NYC increases enrollment by nearly 50,000 students
Universal access to pre-K educationhas expanded access for New York City's 3- and 4-year-old students. A total of 68,500 students are enrolled in early childhood education as of December, 2015, up from a base of 20,000 students in 2012. Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2013 election campaign centered on universal pre-K education for children in all 5 boroughs.
Test Your Knowledge of Montana School Funding
See how much you know about Montana school funding! With 10 multiple choice/true-false and 11 matching questions, this is a great opportunity to learn or recall important facts about funding.
* Special thanks to the quiz author Pad McCracken, Research Analyst for the School Funding Interim Commission, for permission to reprint this quiz.
Announcing RISE 4 Montana
RISE 4 Montana is a teacher recruitment and retention initiative formed with the intent to increase the quantity of qualified educators and to preserve the quality of Montana's qualified educators.
RISE 4 Montana is a joint initiative of the Montana Association of School Business Officials, MEA-MFT, Montana Quality Education Coalition, Montana Rural Education Association, Montana School Boards Association, School Administrators of Montana, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and Montana State University’s Department of Education.
Assistance with Internet Upgrades - No Cost to Montana Schools
Released August 31, 2015
Governor Bullock and Superintendent Juneau are pleased to announce a partnership with EducationSuperHighway (ESH), a national non-profit focused on upgrading Internet access in public schools so all students can take full advantage of the promise of digital learning. ESH will be providing tools, technical assistance and consulting services to the state and to districts, all at no cost. This exciting opportunity will support robust Wi-Fi in schools and help districts obtain the bandwidth students need in the 21st century classroom.
ESH team members will be reaching out to directly to districts and other stakeholders in the coming weeks in order to assess current broadband status, assets and capabilities. This data will be compiled into a Connectivity Report that will provide a comprehensive review of broadband challenges and opportunities for K-12 schools. ESH—in close collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Public Instruction, the service provider community, and schools across the state—will use the Report’s results as a starting point to identify options and strategies for bringing affordable, scalable high-speed broadband access to schools in Montana. Further information about ESH and the resources it offers is available at its website: www.educationsuperhighway.org. More information about the partnership with Montana will be announced on September 14 at the MASS Fall Conference in Bozeman.
No Easy Answer for Low Teacher Pay in South Dakota
The South Dakota Task Force on Students and Teachers met for the first time in July with the purpose of preparing recommendations for the upcoming 2016 legislative session. Among other things, the Task Force will propose action to bring teacher pay in the state up from its current ranking of last in the United States.
SB 410: MT-PEC Requests Directive Specifying Tax Credits For Private Schools Comply With Montana Constitution
MQEC has joined all other members of MT-PEC in a joint statement urging Governor Bullock to direct the Department of Revenue to ensure that tax credits for private schools are allowed only for nonsectarian private schools.
Montana's per-student school funding held relatively steady during the Great Recession. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, per-student funding in Montana was only $38 lower in 2014 than in 2008 when indexed for inflation. Overall, the state maintained a consistent contribution of 42% to 43% of the annual cost to educate our students between 2005 and 2014.
Survey finds over half the nation's schools in need of repair
The National Center for Education Statistics, a reporting arm of the U.S. Department of Education, conducted a nationwide survey of public school facilities for the 2012-2013 school year. Respondents were asked to evaluate 24 features of the interior and exterior of the school building. 54% stated they needed to expend funds to bring the buildings into a state of 'good' repair. The cost for these upgrades totaled approximately $197 billion dollars, averaging a per-building cost of $4.5 million.
For information closer to home, the 2008 Montana K-12 Public Schools Facility Condition Assessment identified nearly $360 million would be needed to bring our school buildings into a state of 'good' repair. To make these repairs in 2015, the cost would be approximately $417 million.
Oklahoma Legislator Withdraws School Voucher Bill After Polling Indicates Public Disapproval
In a heavily Republican Oklahoma legislature, State Senator Clark Jolley withdrew a bill designed to create 'education savings accounts' that would have used public funds to pay for private school costs. The apparent impetus for the withdrawal was a poll of Oklahoma voters that showed an overwhelming disapproval (60%) of using public funds for private schools.
Montana's numbers on this issue are even stronger. The MT-PEC poll conducted in late 2014 showed almost 74%, or 3/4 of Montana voters, oppose providing tax benefits for private schools that do not permit public input and transparency.
The Reality of "National School Choice Week"
Tom Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association, discusses the reality of "school choice" and echoes MT-PEC's position - school choice is alive and well right now in public schools in Montana and across the nation.
The "school choice" movement is an attempt to redirect public tax dollars in support of for-profit schools, amounting to a taxpayer subsidy for private education. If this is allowed in Montana, the redirection of K-12 funding will harm our public schools and decrease opportunity for the 142,000 public school students in the state.
Press Release: Helena, January 26, 2015:
The Montana Quality Education Coalition today announced its support of Governor Bullock’s Early Edge pre-k proposal and committed resources to help increase support for early childhood education.
Press Release: Helena, January 22, 2015:
Early Edge - Public Education Advocacy Groups are United In Support of Early Edge
The Montana Public Education Center (MT-PEC) announces its united support of Governor Bullock's Early Edge Montana program intended to offer voluntary, universal pre-k services to all four-year-olds in Montana.
Montana Receives $10 MM Department of Education grant to assist preschool development efforts
Montana is one of five states in the nation to receive funding to help develop statewide preschool programs. Funding is awarded through the U.S. Department of Education and Montana's initial allocation is $10 million. Grants can be renewed for an additional 3 years for a total of $40 million. Thirteen states were also awarded funding to enhance already established programs.
16 school districts will receive grant disbursements. Some of the funds will be directed to educators seeking certification in early childhood education.
Read the details of the OPI selection criteria here.
Governor Bullock's Proposed Budget FY16-17
The Governor's proposed budget for the 2017 biennium is the most education-friendly budget in recent history. All elements of the funding formula include appropriate inflationary increases and new funding for pre-K education is included at $37 MM.
However, some elements of SB 175 are not funded as provided in statute and school facilities continue to be funded through competitive grants to a limited number of districts.
Read a detailed funding analysis here.
A district-by-district summary is available here.
MQEC Report: Energy Impacts to NE Montana School Districts
MQEC Fall Update 2014
The Great Work of Montana Public Schools - Volume II
MQEC Brief: The Value of MQEC