Education

Representatives from Big Sky School District, Habitat for Humanity and the community dig into the future site of affordable housing for Big Sky teachers, July 12, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Public schools in Big Sky are losing teachers because their salaries can’t keep up with the median sale price for a single-family house, which currently sits at $1 million. A new partnership to bring affordable, on-site housing to the school district is trying to change that.

A PowerPoint slide shows how responders in the 2019 News Media Preferences and Issues survey ranked the issues they care about the most.
Courtesy of the Greater Montana Foundation and the UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

A new survey released Thursday shows Montanans value and trust local news sources, and the most important issues for rural and urban residents are pretty similar, including jobs and the state’s economy.

Three Children Work Togther On A Laptop
Lucelia Rebeiro (CC BY_SA 2.0) / Flickr

The 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book was released Monday, and Montana and Wyoming had strong showings on the well-being of their children. But the two still fell well short in one important category-health.

Eighth graders from Belgrade Middle School walk across the stage in the high school gym during their graduation ceremony in Belgrade, Montana, June 05, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

A threatening video posted to social media forced a shelter-in-place order for Belgrade schools and postponed a middle school graduation Tuesday. 

John Liu / Flickr

Numbers from the Billings school district show about half of students go straight into a four-year college after graduation, but prospects may also be good for those who choose to plunge right into the job market.

The school district held a high school senior career fair at the MetraPark in Billings recently.

Through the day, around 1,000 high school seniors wandered around two rooms of booths staffed by more than 100 potential employers.

Martin Bekkelund / Flickr

Earlier this month, Billings Public Schools implemented a new filter system that blocks websites based on a list of keywords.

A few days later, CounterPunch magazine reported that students were also unable to access certain websites addressing pro-LGBTQ issues.

Twelfth-grader Clara Bentler, a student leader at Billings Senior High School, says a teacher showed her the list of blocked keywords and key phrases.

Kco Bort / Flickr

The school bus driver shortage has ended in the Bozeman School District after enough drivers were found to restore four routes canceled at the beginning of the fall semester.

Bozeman School District Superintendent Rob Watson says more drivers have been hired to ensure all of the students who depend on the bus service now have a way to get back and forth to classes.

“That’s a pretty important service for our community and our students and families and so it’s great news to have those routes up and running again.”

More than $97 million in state budget reductions are scheduled to kick in August 15, and, across the state,, school districts are preparing to adapt to their share of the cut.

Funding for public education in Montana will decrease by about $19 million over the next two years as declines in state revenues mean across-the-board budget reductions to state agencies.

A group of 25 college students from Iraq is visiting Missoula. They arrived on July 10,  just as Iraqi forces were reclaiming the city of Mosul from Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The students are part of an exchange of Iraqi Young Leaders arranged by the U.S. State Department and the University of Montana with a focus on international peace building.

Funding for a Native American language preservation program could get cut next month if revenues don’t increase as the state fiscal year comes to an end. 

The State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee was briefed by legislative staff Thursday that budget cuts will be triggered in mid-August.

Amy Carlson, a Legislative Fiscal Analyst, says state revenues have continued falling below projections since lawmakers passed the state budget in April.

“Yes, we believe we will be hitting triggers," Carlson said, "certainly the most recent revenues would tell you that.”

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