Office of the Superintendent

January 29, 2019 

Elsie Arntzen

Hello Montana Students, Teachers, Families, and Communities,

The 66th Legislative Session is under way! Check out the information below for updates in education.

OPI Legislative Priorities

The OPI is advocating for a strong education budget that fully restores reductions from last session plus an inflationary increase for special education. The OPI also has several policy initiatives around school safety, data sharing with the university system, evening out state school payments, and providing school safety grants.

You can see the OPI’s full legislative agenda and follow updates on education-related legislation on the OPI website:


Partial Federal Government Shutdown

The federal government reached a short-term spending deal to fund certain agencies through February 15th. The Department of Education has been fully funded through federal fiscal year 2019, however, school nutrition program reimbursements are through the USDA. These funds are distributed to the state quarterly and Montana has funding through March for school nutrition reimbursements. The next quarterly allocation will be at the beginning of April.

If federal families become furloughed, they may be eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Please communicate with your district about eligibility. You can visit the OPI’s website for additional information.

State of Education Address

Superintendent Arntzen will deliver the State of Education Address to the Montana Legislature on February 11th at 1:00pm. It can be viewed on the legislature’s website.

2020 Teacher of the Year

Applications and nominations for the 2020 Montana Teacher of the Year program will open on February 1st. Nominations will be accepted through May 3rd and applications will be accepted through June 14th. This information can be found on the OPI’s website. Please be sure to share with your community!

Superintendent’s January Events

  • School safety panel at the Montana Capitol
  • Indian Education for All Rotunda Day
  • Education budget hearings
  • Press conferences on education funding and school safety
  • Search Committee for Dean of Education at UM
  • Various meetings with legislators and attendance at legislative receptions including the 4-H breakfast, Montana University System reception, and Chamber of Commerce reception
  • School Choice Week rally
  • Meetings with Helena Youth Against Gun Violence, Legislative Pages, and Americans for Prosperity-Montana
  • Radio appearances on Voices of Montana, Morning Wake Up Report, KGVO Missoula, and KGEZ Kalispell
  • Education Caucus and Tribal Education Caucus meetings
  • Recurring Land Board, Education Advocates, Board of Public Education, and Board of Regents meetings

OPI Social Media

MT OPI on Facebook