FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPI’s Legislative Priorities for Education Advanced this Session
May 9, 2019
HELENA— With House Bill 601 being signed into law today, the Office of Public Instruction’s policy and budget priorities for education in Montana have been advanced this legislative session. HB 601 allows the OPI to distribute existing state-level funds at the OPI to local schools for school safety professional development grants for educators. HB 601 is the second piece of student safety legislation promoted by the OPI to be signed into law this week after Senate Bill 132 was signed on Tuesday.
Before the 66th Legislative Session began, Superintendent Arntzen made it clear that the OPI’s top priorities would be restoring education funding, protecting student safety, and promoting additional opportunities for students to succeed.
“I want to thank Montana legislators for putting students first this session,” State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said Thursday. “From day one, the OPI has advocated for a responsible education budget and student safety. I am proud that we have accomplished these legislative goals.”
With Superintendent Arntzen’s leadership, almost all of the 2017 regular and special session education cuts were restored, and schools received the largest ever inflationary increase to K-12 BASE aid funding in House Bill 2. Special education funding received an inflationary increase with the signing of the OPI supported House Bill 638.
In addition to bipartisan student safety legislation being enacted, OPI sponsored legislation was signed to allow greater data sharing between the OPI, the Montana University System, and the Department of Labor, better provide dyslexia services to students, allow Youth Challenge Academy students the opportunity to receive a diploma, and promote CTE education alongside other personalized learning opportunities.
For a full overview of the OPI’s legislative priorities for Montana students, check out the OPI’s summary of the 66th Legislative Session.
Director of Communications & Federal Relations
Montana Office of Public Instruction