Montana Schools Set to Receive More Than $127 Million in ARPA Funding to Reopen Safely, Tester Announces

Senator was only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in favor of critical funding

Montana schools are set to receive more than $127 million in critical funding to help reopen safely in the fall and get students back on track, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today.

The $127,339,745 is the second tranche of Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds Tester secured as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and will help Montana schools safely reopen and operate while expanding opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those who faced learning loss due the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As I’ve talked with families and educators over the past year, one thing has been crystal clear: this pandemic hit Montana students hard, and we must do everything we can to help get them caught up,” Tester said. “That’s why I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan, and why I fought to secure this urgently-needed support that will help Montana schools reopen safely and get students back on track when school starts this fall, all without breaking the bank for local taxpayers.”

Tester also announced that the U.S. Department of Education has approved Montana’s ARP ESSER plan as required to receive the funding. Montana received its first tranche of ARP ESSER funding-$254,679,491-in April.

Over the course of the pandemic, Tester has held hundreds of meetings with Montana’s teachers, administrators, parents, and local officials to solicit input about what Montana schools need to make it through the crisis, and fought to ensure the American Rescue Plan would provide the support schools need to fully reopen safely and make sure no students fall through the cracks.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan Act.