Legislative Guidance and Information for Schools

The OPI proudly implements the legislative tasks signed into law during the 68th Legislative Session.
To help guide schools on new legislative requirements and updates, the OPI has a Legislative Implementation page.



HB 5  Part of this bill provided $3.7 Million to the DEQ for lead remediation in schools.

OPI Guidance and Information

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) work to reduce lead exposure in drinking water at school facilities. An appropriation in House Bill 5 provided $3.7 million to the DEQ to support this effort during the fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

Bill Effective Date

On passage

HB 21 revises the process
for adoption of school accreditation

The OPI is currently in negoatiated rulemaking with the English Language Proficiency Standards. This committee, and those going forward, will incorporate time as part of its discussion and preparation of the economic impact statement, per section 1 of HB 21. January 1, 2026, section 2 of this bill will be in effect, which includes reporting requirements to the legislative committees, as well as requiring financial requests be included in the Superintendent's budget for implementation of proposed standards. 

Section 1: on passage,
(terminates December 31, 2025)

Section 2: January 1. 2026

HB 163 Missing
Indigenous Persons Taskforce

The Superintendent proudly designates Crystal Hickman to the task force.

On passage

HB 203 Out-of-District Tuition

This legislation generally revised education laws to enhance educational opportunities. This amended the title of 20-5-320, MCA, to be: Out-of-district attendance by parent or guardian request with no extenuating circumstances . In addition, this provides limited circumstances under which an out-of-district attendance application may be denied, as well as requiring the resident district to pay for resident children who attend out of district. The OPI has updated the Student Attendance Agreement Form, FP-14, to align to this new legislation. If you have more questions, please contact OPI School Finance.

July 1, 2023

HB 234 Regarding Public
Display of Obscenity to minors

The OPI provided a webinar with information about HB 234 on July 26, 2023. Find that webinar here. 

On passage

HB 321 establishes a coal conservation district fund.

As relating to schools, HB 321 directs a transfer from the state general fund to the school facilities fund (§20-9-380, MCA) an amount necessary to bring the balance of the school facilities fund to $200 million. The higher balance in the school facilities fund will increase the amount of interest earnings. Interest revenue accumulated is used to support the State Major Maintenance Aid program directed under §20-9-525, MCA. Districts interested this program will find information in both the guidance and instructions (see page 29) provided on the OPI website. Questions? Contact Paul Taylor

July 1, 2023

HB 338 is an act revising Indian Education for All. 

This bill included several new reporting requirements, and provided a reduction of future funding for school districts that fail to report expenditures of all IEFA revenue. Find a Frequently Asked Questions document about these reporting requirements here. In addition, here is a helpful IEFA Payment Reporting Guide

July 1, 2023.

HB 352 Early Literacy Intervention

This exciting bill supports early reading interventions for eligible students aged four to entering third grade. It also places emphasis on collaboration. The OPI is working closely with the Board of Public Education (BPE) to meet the requirements of the bill. The BPE has an Early Literacy Council to help advise them as they select the tool, evaluation methodology, and proficiency levels for reading proficiency. The OPI has the Early Literacy Collaborative to help implement the required tool, evaluation methodology, and proficiency levels. These two groups have some common members, and will work collaboratively! In addition, the OPI has hired two new full time staff to support the work of HB 352. 

July 1, 2024

HB 393 established a 
special needs equal
opportunity education
savings account program
for qualified students. 

The OPI provided a webinar with information about HB 393 on August 23, 2023. Find that webinar here, under Upcoming Events. In addition, Superintendent Arntzen has selected an Education Savings Account (ESA) Parent Steering Committee. Find more information about implementation of this savings account on the ESA webpage

July 1, 2023

HB 403 Teacher Licensing Fees

Per HB 403, Superintendent Arntzen proposed a new license fee structure to the Board of Education at their September 2023,board meeting. Find additional information in this summary

News fees will be effective January 1, 2024. 

HB 504 District Grievance Policy

Superintendent Arntzen supported HB 504, which ensures parents have easy access to district's grievance policy when a local issue arises that concerns the parent. Districts are required to adopt a grievance policy that provides for informal and formal resolutions of a complaint, informs a grievant about the grievance policy, provides a printed version of the grievance policy on request, and accepts for filing a formal complaint submitted within 30 days of the completion of an informal resolution. OPI hosted a webinar October 25, 2023 discussing this bill. 

July 1, 2023

HB 549 Public Charter Schools

The OPI provided an informational webinar with information about HB 549 and HB 562 on September 20, 2023. In addition, there is implementation information on OPI's website

July 1, 2023

HB 562 Community Choice Schools
A Community Choice School, according to 20-11-103, MCA is a tuition-free, public school open to all students in the state that has autonomy over school governing decisions including, but not limited to, matters concerning finance, personnel, scheduling, curriculum, and instruction as defined in its contract with the Community Choice School Commission. Find more information here

July 1, 2023

HB 676 and SB 518
Parental Rights

HB 676 revises laws to clarify fundamental parental rights, while SB 518 revises parental rights laws to increase parental involvement in education. Watch the OPI webinar on these two bills, presented September 20, 2023. 

HB 676
On passage

SB 518
On passage and July 1, 2023

HB 724 revises public notice requirements. 

Schools should take notice of the revised language of HB 724 and the requirements for publishing an agendas for meetings. 

October 1, 2023

HB 811 aims to enhance public awareness and involvement in school district governance.

This bill requires the OPI to create a repository, available through its website, making trustee contact information readily available for each school district of the state. This repository is located on OPI's main webpage under the link Trustee Repository. For more information, see the press release

On passage

HB 890 requires certain government boards to provide audio and video recordings of public meetings.

Section 2-3-214, MCA is amended to expand the list of boards required to record their public meetings in an audio and video format to include first-class and second-class school district board of trustees. These audio and video recordings shall be publicly available within 5 business days after the meeting. 

July 1, 2024
(except as provided
in 2-3-203, MCA)

OPI Staff are here to help:

Katie Bloodgood, Legislative Liaison, 406-594-3060
Christy Mock-Stutz, Assistant Superintendent, 406-444-5658

Meet the Superintendent's Executive Staff

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