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Feds Approve Montana’s $127M Spending Plan For School Pandemic Aid


The U.S. education department has approved Montana’s spending plan for $127 million in federal pandemic aid to help K-12 schools adapt during the pandemic.

Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Artzen says the plan will allow schools to “promote innovation.”

The state’s top priority within the plan is to invest in programs to help students make up for progress lost during the pandemic, to expand summer learning opportunities and to hire more mental health professionals in schools.

Arntzen criticized the federal government in June for requiring each school to submit their own plans for reopening to access the funds. In July, Arntzen announced that all schools could use the same template aiming to make the process easier on administrators.

The Montana School Boards Association also posted templates for administrators for the federal requirement back in June.

Montana schools have received a total of $382 million through the federal American Rescue Plan Act since March 2021.

The latest round of money was released to the state Thursday.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.