At your service...

Contact us via email or call us in-state, toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095

Montana Office of Public Instruction's Executive Staff

OPI Staff

Questions or concerns about this Webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at or 406.444.0087

President’s Proposed Budget

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The President released his federal budget proposal on May 23, 2017. It is important to note that this budget is just a proposal and Congress is ultimately responsible for creating and passing a federal budget. However, I am concerned by the proposed budget. The OPI will serve as a resource to Montana's Congressional delegation by providing data on what the impacts of any federal budget decisions on Montana's schools would be. The OPI will continue to strategically allocate our funds in order to best serve Montana students.
Most federal education programs are “forward funded”, meaning that the funding for state school year 2017-2018 is already approved. The proposed federal budget would affect our state school year 2018-2019. Here is an overview on what the impacts to Montana would be:

  • Federal funding for all elementary and secondary level programs would see a reduction of $21.5 million, or 11.7% under this proposed budget. This total includes programs, such as Impact Aid, where the funds go directly to school districts from the federal government.
  • Major reductions absorbed by school districts are:
    • Eliminating Title IIA support for teachers and principals ($9.2 million)
    • Eliminating 21st Century Community Learning Centers - after school programs ($5.6 million)
    • Reducing Title IA grants that support students ($2.0 million).
    • Eliminating Title IVA student support and academic enrichment grants ($1.8 million).

 ESSA Update:
As we update and build upon Montana’s state plan, OPI staff have met with community leaders, educators, and stakeholders throughout Montana in May to get feedback. We have visited Lewistown, White Sulphur Springs, Missoula, Arlee, Big Fork, Kalispell, Pablo, Browning, Valier, Great Falls, Belt, Geyser, Stanford, Moore, Miles City, Sidney, Three Forks, Bozeman, Billings, Glendive, Wibaux, Ashland, and Hardin.
We invite you to participate and provide feedback on our upcoming webinars on specific topics for the Montana State ESSA Plan. The Webinars are around ten minutes long and have guiding documents you can review beforehand.  All of the information can be found on the ESSA tab on the OPI Website:
We are going to have webinars for each of the areas of the plan that we are revisiting to build upon and edit due to feedback, new requirements or peer review expectations.
The Montana Office of Public Instruction will use the feedback from the webinars to guide focus groups on areas of the plan we may need to have further robust discussion on.  We will invite those interested in these specific areas to join us in completing the work on these topics for the draft plan that will be provided to the public.
Have a wonderful summer and thank you for putting Montana students first this school year.

Elsie Arntzen
Superintendent of Public Instruction



Spotlight On:

Montana’s Class of 2017 Graduates

Congratulations to Montana’s class of 2017 graduates! You have a lot to be proud of, and bright futures to look forward to. This is your beginning. This is your time to make your dreams a reality. Montana’s Big Sky is the limit. Dream big, work hard, and make Montana proud!