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Gianforte Signs Bill Aimed At Boosting Teacher Pay

A reporting app tested by Flathead High School allows students to report a tip, anonymously if they wish, about bullying, physical threats, weapons at school and even report another student expressing suicidal tendencies.
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A reporting app tested by Flathead High School allows students to report a tip, anonymously if they wish, about bullying, physical threats, weapons at school and even report another student expressing suicidal tendencies.

Gov. Greg Gianforte Friday signed a bill into law that will create an incentive program for public school districts to pay their early-career teachers a higher wage.

Salaries for early-career educators in Montana are among the lowest in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Montana teachers as a whole are also on average among the lowest paid across the country,according to the National Education Association.

Gov. Gianforte signed House Bill 143 into law, which will allocate $2.3 million of the state’s general fund annually to incentivize districts to increase pay for their starting teachers.

According to a press release from the Montana Office of Public Instruction, the bill is expected to benefit 700 teachers entering the education field when it goes into effect in 2023.

In a statement, Gianforte said the bill would help the state retain and attract early-career teachers.

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

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.