Montana Office of Public Instruction

The Montana Office of Public Instruction is asking Gov. Steve Bullock and the federal government to waive requirements for standardized testing and instructional time. The request comes days into the governor’s two-week public school closure order in response to the novel coronavirus.

Even as Montana's public K-12 schools sit closed over coronavirus concerns, work on the school system continues. Newly released data from the state of Montana provides a picture of just how much it costs to educate the state's students.

Released this week, the state's "report card" shows it cost an average of $10,474.64 to educate each student in the public school system last year. The actual cost varies depending on districts or schools.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has ordered all public K-12 schools in the state to close for two weeks following additional in-state cases of the novel coronavirus. About half a dozen patients have tested presumptively positive for the illness.

In a press release Sunday afternoon, Bullock said the step was taken to slow the spread of the virus and that the task force he assembled earlier this month would continue meeting to determine next steps.

A yellow school bus.
Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

On Monday morning, Billings received another in a recent string of school-related threats. The incident is one of several this year that will factor into a federal database in 2021.

State of Montana Office of Public Instruction's logo
State of Montana Office of Public Instruction / State of Montana Office of Public Instruction

Standardized test results released October 4 show that Montana middle school students are lagging in literacy and math.

The results of Montana’s statewide college-readiness test for high school juniors were released Friday. The overall test scores are identical to the previous year but down over the last four years.

Montana gives the ACT test to nearly all juniors as part of its federal accountability requirements.

A panel of federal land state security, public school and elected officials discuss cybersecurity.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

In the wake of cyber attacks on public schools in Louisiana that led the governor there to declare a state of emergency last month, agency heads and elected officials in Montana are talking about how to keep student and staff information safe here.

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