Greg Gianforte lays out education priorities for 2023 legislation session
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte visited Great Falls last week to lay out his education priorities ahead of the 2023 legislative session. They include raising teacher pay and reducing licensing requirements for new educators.
The 2021 TEACH Act, provided school districts with state funding to help increase starting teacher salaries.
Speaking to teachers, students and staff at Great Falls High School on Tuesday, Gianforte said he wants to build on that legislation and further increase teacher pay.
“So our starting teachers can earn even more, again delivered as incentives for local school boards," he said.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Montana ranks 34th in the country for teacher salaries.
Gianforte said he hopes increasing pay could help recruit teachers to the field. He said he also wants the state Board of Public Education to streamline the licensing process as a way to address Montana’s teacher shortage.
Gianforte said he plans to reduce agency “red tape” that can serve as barriers to things like licensing in schools.
Gianforte has been unveiling his legislative priorities in recent weeks at events around the state. The 2023 legislative session will start in January.