The Montana Office of Public Instruction distributed $1.1 million of restored grant funding to schools throughout the state on Friday.
The grants don’t completely cover the losses included in the $20 million in total reductions to the Office of Public Instruction’s 2018 budget triggered by low revenue collections last year, but they help provide schools with some relief.
OPI received $1.1 million in restored funding in late July to go back to state-level activities at the agency. However, state schools Superintendent Elsie Arntzen decided to make the money available to school districts in the form of grants.
Arntzen chose to distribute $510,000 in grants to high school career and technical education programs, and $217,547 to Montana’s special education cooperatives that serve rural students. The remaining $413,814 will be used to provide targeted support services to local schools.
OPI spokesman Dylan Klapmeier said the state is seeking to have the reductions restored in the proposed budget they’re putting forward for the 2019 legislative session.
Missoula County Public High Schools were granted a total of $35,822 for career and technical education programs for subjects that include business, marketing, health sciences, family and consumer sciences, and industrial technology.
The Missoula Area Education Cooperative received a grant for $11,485 and the Bitterroot Valley Education Cooperative received $4,053. The Flathead Special Education Cooperative also received $10,809.