Education News



Office of the Superintendent

Elsie Arntzen is Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction

November 25, 2020

image of Elsie Arntzen

With the holidays and end of the fall semester approaching, the OPI hopes that families and educators are staying healthy. Thank you for your dedication to ensuring that schools can safely reopen for educational services 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

Program 9 (funding to schools) comparison

Program 6 (state-level activities) comparison

The OPI is committed to hosting Education and Tribal Education Caucuses this session:

OPI Tribal Education Caucus:

4:00pm every Thursday Room 350 at the Capitol Starting January 7th

OPI Education Caucus:

7:00 am Every other Tuesday morning Room 335 at the Capitol Starting January 12th

Federal COVID-19 Waivers

  • Summer Food Service Program: extended to June 30, 2021
  • Report Card: still required for available data points
  • Assessment: ED has not made a decision on spring standardized assessments. The OPI is pursuing a waiver or determining how local interim data could be used instead
  • The OPI continues to advocate an extension of the CRF deadline while encouraging the Governor to allocate additional funds to education

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. The cost of the Flags is $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.

Promoting Career and Technical Education

The OPI continues to partner with businesses and industries to promote career and technical education. For the legislative session, we have March 26th scheduled for a Montana Ready Rotunda Day. If you haven’t already seen this promotional video we made with the Montana Chamber, check it out and share!

Superintendent’s Office November Activities

  • Board of Public Education meeting
  • CCSSO Annual Policy Forum virtual conference
  • MIC3 meeting
  • Land Board meeting
  • Meeting with Native American Caucus
  • Zoom meeting with local administrators







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