Education News



Office of the Superintendent

Elsie Arntzen is Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction

October 26, 2020

image of Elsie Arntzen

The OPI hopes that your fall semester is going well and that families and educators are healthy! Thank you for your dedication to ensuring that schools can safely reopen for academic success to continue. As we navigate these uncertain circumstances, the OPI is here to serve families, schools, and communities. Please continue to stay in touch and let us know how we can be of service.

As a reminder, the Reopening Montana Schools webpage will continue to be the best place to find the latest information from the OPI.

2021 Legislative Priorities

  1. BASE Aid plus inflation
  2. Adding special education to BASE Aid plus inflation
  3. Fund in-state residential treatment for at-risk students
  4. Transfer the Broadband for Montana Schools program from the Department of Commerce to the Office of Public Instruction

In addition to the above priorities, the OPI has been working closely with the Education Interim Committee on language clean up bills. These priorities do not represent the full range of bills that the OPI may provide support or informational testimony for. The OPI recognizes that revenue will be tight this session and therefore the OPI’s top priority is ensuring that existing funding promises to our K-12 public schools are fulfilled early in the session. Check out the OPI’s legislative webpage to learn more.

Stars and Stripes Initiative

The OPI and American Legion of Montana are partnering on a Stars and Stripes initiative to donate American Flags for Montana classrooms. This coincides with our updates to Montana’s social studies standards. We must all work together to have strong civics education programs in schools. One way to encourage this is by proudly displaying the stars and stripes in every classroom. State law requires Flags in every classroom but only if schools can afford them or have them donated. The cost of the Flags are $10 and donors can choose which school that flag goes to. The Flags are classroom-sized 16”X24” and include the staff and wall mount bracket.

New Federal Digital Learning Guide

The U.S. Department of Education today released a new Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide [], a resource to help parents and guardians understand how digital tools can provide tailored learning opportunities, engage students with course materials, encourage creative expression, and enrich the educational experience.

Superintendent’s Office October Events

  • Meetings with American Legions Posts for Stars and Stripes initiative
  • Visit to MSU-Northern
  • Meeting with Mircosoft on Computer Science courses
  • Meeting with the Governor’s senior staff
  • Meeting with state education partners
  • Zoom meeting with local administrators
  • Meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Montana State Library Commission
  • Land Board
  • CTE panel with the Department of Education and Montana Chamber of Commerce
  • Meeting with Great Falls School Resource Officers
  • Montana School Safety Advisory Committee







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