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Jul 8, 2015

Tester pushes for greater local control in the classroom

As Senate begins debating federal education policy, Senator Tester pushes amendments


(U.S. Senate) - As the Senate begins debating federal education policy, Montana's teacher-turned-Senator Jon Tester successfully included a bipartisan amendment to give local school boards greater control in the classroom.

Tester's amendment, which is cosponsored by Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Angus King (I-Maine) encourages the Secretary of Education to receive input from local stakeholders like school boards before developing any new rules or regulations. Tester offered his amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) - a bill that ends the unpopular No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and reforms federal elementary and secondary education policy.  Tester's amendment passed unanimously.

Tester, a former public school teacher and school board member, has been a staunch critic of NCLB since he was first sworn in as Montana's Senator.

"The failure of No Child Left Behind to improve education in rural America is proof enough that local school boards know better than anyone what their students need," Tester said. "This amendment will help local folks in Montana have greater input over what happens in classrooms in Montana."

Tester is also offering his "grade span" testing bill as an amendment to ECAA to remove federal annual testing requirement and replace it with fewer tests.  Tester also successfully included an amendment on ECAA to restore four grant programs that help improve education in Indian Country.

Tester recently met with Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, as well as students, school board members, administrators and teachers at Poly Drive Elementary School in Billings, to discuss how much classroom time is taken up by NCLB's annual federal testing requirements.


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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