Jon believes public education is the foundation of America's democracy. As a former public school student, teacher, and school board member, Jon knows how important access to a quality public education is to Montana's rural way of life—and that begins as early as pre-kindergarten. From Glendive to Ravalli County, Jon has secured millions of dollars to support Montana’s Head Start programs, ensuring that Montana kids have the tools they need to thrive right out of the gate.
Jon is committed to ensuring schools in Montana and across rural America can recruit and retain top-notch teachers. In order to boost teacher recruitment in rural Montana, Jon introduced the Rural Educator Support and Training (REST) Act and the Native Educator Support and Training (NEST) Act. These bills work to address the shortages of educators in Montana, both in Indian Country and at large. The REST and NEST Acts strengthen teacher workforce by providing scholarships, loan forgiveness, and professional development opportunities to educators who commit to work in rural schools. Montana’s future leaders deserve the best of the best when it comes to their education, and getting America’s brightest teachers in rural classrooms is the first step.
He is also working with teachers, parents, school board members, and administrators to ensure that policies coming out of Washington D.C. don't stifle creativity in the classroom. He helped roll back provisions of No Child Left Behind, has passed legislation to strengthen local control over our state's schools, and has pushed back against efforts to privatize public education and divert critical resources away from schools with limited resources.
Jon believes education doesn’t stop at high school, and he is working to make it easier for Montanans to continue learning. He knows to achieve this, we’ve got to make college more affordable and ensure job training and apprenticeship programs stay up and running. By restoring year-round Pell Grants, supporting the Perkins Loan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs, and continuing investments in to programs like Job Corps and TRIO, Jon is fighting to ensure that a price tag does not determine anyone’s opportunity to learn.
March 30, 2020| View More
Tester Secures $31 Million in Relief for Montana Colleges and Universities Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that Montana's colleges and universities will receive an estimated $31 million in relief as a part of the coronavirus relief package signed into law last week, which also included $1.25 billion for Montana's overall relief efforts.
March 30, 2020| View More
U.S. Senator Jon Tester is announcing that the coronavirus relief package, signed into law by President Trump last week, included his bill to ensure that those working to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) will not lose eligibility if they miss payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 27, 2020| View More
As Montana Schools Close Their Doors Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, Tester Calls on FCC to Ensure Kids Have Internet Access
As schools across Montana shutter their doors in response to the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is calling on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to ensure that all K-12 students have access to the internet so they can keep up with their education.
March 26, 2020| View More
After 72 Hours of Negotiating Improvements, Tester Votes to Deliver Critical Relief for Montana Workers, Families, Businesses, Hospitals
After 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak.
March 24, 2020| View More
As the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic begins to prevent Montanans from making payments on time, U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced a bill to ensure no Montanan looking to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) will be penalized for missing a payment during a national or public health emergency.