06.08.21

Daines to Department of Education: Let Montana Schools Have Control Over COVID-19 Relief Spending

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines is urging the Department of Education to abandon their one-size-fits-all approach to allocating funds provided by the recent COVID-19 relief package and listen to local Montana educators. Currently, specific, heavy handed stipulations are preventing Montana schools from using this recovery funding.

“The Montana ESSER III plan is comprehensive, emphasizes local control, and was constructed with extensive input from OPI’s stakeholder engagement process. Critically, the plan provides flexibility, support, and resources to Montana schools; empowering local communities to find solutions that advance education. As a former superintendent, you know how important it is to have the necessary flexibility to best serve pupils in a specific district,” the letter states.

“Thankfully, we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the last 14 months parents, teachers, and administrators across Montana’s 403 districts have worked tirelessly to keep students engaged and learning. I trust you will accept this plan that puts students at the heart of reopening Montana schools. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I would appreciate your prompt consideration,” the letter continues.

Montana’s Office of Public Instruction (OPI) submitted an alternate plan to continue reopening elementary and secondary schools that would eliminate the burdensome requirements for Montana schools in rural and tribal schools.

Read the full letter HERE.

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Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler