Governor Gianforte Signs Bill Delivering Record Funding for K-12 Public Schools

Governor's Office
  • March 02 2023

HELENA, Mont. – At a kindergarten class at Smith Elementary School, Governor Greg Gianforte today signed a bill to fund Montana’s K-12 public schools at record levels. The funding measure adds a record $85.6 million to the state’s K-12 BASE aid funding for the fiscal year 2025 biennium.

“Our neighborhood public schools like Smith Elementary provide a safe environment for young Montanans to learn, socialize, and reach their full potential,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Working with Representative David Bedey and our partners in the legislature, we put Montana students first and got this bill across the finish line in record time.”

“Never before have our public schools been better funded than they are today,” the governor continued.

Public School Funding

Gov. Gianforte reads The Gruffalo to kindergartners after signing the bill to provide record funding for K-12 public schools

Sponsored by Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, House Bill 15 makes a historic investment in Montana’s K-12 public education system, funding schools at record levels.

“It was an honor to carry the school funding bill this session and to join students and teachers as Governor Gianforte signed it into law. The legislature and governor worked together to provide strong funding for our local schools and to get it done early in the session,” Rep. Bedey said.

HB 15 is a signature element of the governor’s Budget for Montana Families and a critical part of his pro-student, pro-parent, pro-teacher education agenda for 2023.

Governor Gianforte outlined his education priorities in his 2023 State of the State address, saying, “Let’s support individualized learning, civics education, and other innovative approaches to education. Let’s ensure parents are involved in their kids’ education and teachers have the resources they need to help our kids thrive.”

In 2021, the governor championed and signed into law the TEACH Act, providing incentives for school districts to increase starting teacher pay. In its first year, the TEACH Act raised starting teacher pay for nearly 500 teachers in Montana public schools.

The governor’s Budget for Montana Families increases funding for the TEACH Act by 40 percent, a proposal now before the Montana Legislature.

After signing the bill, Governor Gianforte read The Gruffalo to students in Mrs. Amy Hasselbach’s kindergarten class. Hasselbach was recognized as December’s Teacher of the Month in the area.

Smith Elementary School

Gov. Gianforte, after signing HB 15, hands signing pens to Smith Elementary School kindergarten teacher Amy Hasselbach and Rep. David Bedey