Laurel Public Schools

Jackie Yamanaka

Students from Laurel Public Schools and community members spent nearly half an hour this morning talking with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. The interaction is part of a NASA program to inspire the next generation of astronauts, engineers, and others who will support space exploration.

The transportation block grants the state of Montana pays to school districts is one of the sources Governor Steve Bullock is considering removing to help fill the state’s budget shortfall. Eliminating the grants in 2019 would save the state nearly $12 million.

But not all the school districts have a reserve fund to fall back on, and others that do can’t sustain the loss over an extended period of time.