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Montana Legislature hears bills on rural educators

Montana Legislature hears bills on rural educators

trio of bills to help rule school districts in Montana address a teacher shortage is moving through the legislature two of them one endorsement by the House on Tuesday MTN’s Mike Dennison has more the Montana House said yes Tuesday to a pair of bills aimed at helping rural schools find people for hard to fill teaching positions each in their own unique way House bill 424 Democratic Representative Tyson running wolf of browning creates a grant program to help train local high school students and local professionals to get certified in areas with an identified shortage it would help people who aren’t teachers get certified and help pay for those costs this is one way that we can keep the people in the community and have them also be able to teach it’s a win for the community and a win for the the schools all the way around running wolf said browning has already tried the program and he hopes it can work elsewhere so it ain’t a deal for myself to just bring back to them but also to help the rest of Montana maybe this will not be the cookie cutters model to help every rural community but it’s one that worked for us the house also endorsed House bill 459 from Republican representative Becky beard of Elliston it would use five hundred thousand dollars a year an oil and gas tax revenue to create a pair of accounts to help rural school districts recruit and retain teachers our rural schools absolutely need this assistance to be able to attract the best qualified best suited teachers and certified staff for their students last week the House also passed a bill from Republican Lou Jones of Conrad that expands into more rural areas a state program that helps repay student loans for certain teachers but all these bills cost money about 1.5 million dollars over the next two years so while they’re passing the house they still have to survive the rest of the session and the competition for funds in the state budget at the Capitol my Dennison MTN news all three of those bills should get there first hearings in the state Senate next month

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