HELENA – Today, Governor Gianforte signed into law the Montana TEACH Act (Tomorrow’s Educators Coming Home) – HB 143 – sponsored by Representative Llew Jones of Conrad. This important legislation is ensuring that Montana’s teachers in their first, second, and third year of their career have the guided support to engage Montana students in learning. Stabilizing the teacher workforce is important for sustaining educational continuity in Montana and is a part of Montana’s comeback plan.
Elsie Arntzen, Superintendent of Public Instruction: “The Governor and the Legislature have aligned their initiatives with my priorities in support of Montana’s teacher recruitment and retention efforts returning Montana’s competitiveness for attracting world-class teachers to its place of leadership among our regional, western states. Having highly qualified teachers in Montana’s classrooms benefits our families and students. I thank Governor Gianforte for joining this effort putting Montana students first.”
“The TEACH Act will help increase starting teacher pay and make it easier for tomorrow’s educators to stay in Montana or come back home,” Governor Gianforte said. “Democrats and Republicans in the legislature delivered on this bill to strengthen our classrooms and communities, which will help us lead the Montana comeback. I appreciate Superintendent Arntzen’s support and Representative Jones’ efforts to get the TEACH Act across the finish line.”
The TEACH Act provides $2.5 million annually to increase teaching opportunities for Montana’s early career teachers, beginning in 2023. The program is 100% state funded, representing a significant savings to local taxpayers since almost 90% of a school’s budget is expended on teacher salaries and benefits. There are nearly 16,000 licensed teachers in Montana. The TEACH Act is estimated to benefit almost 700 teachers newly entering the field of teaching.