Tester Secures Commitment from Department of Education to Invest in Montana Schools
Senator: “I’m glad to see the Department of Education taking action to help schools in Montana return to in-person learning this fall”
Following an aggressive push from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Department of Education today announced they would work with states like Montana to implement their Maintenance of Equity guidance so that schools are able to access the critical American Rescue Plan resources they need to return to in-person learning by the start of the 2021 school year.
“I’m glad to see the Department of Education taking action to help schools in Montana return to in-person learning this fall,” said Tester. “I appreciate this positive step, and I’m going to keep holding Secretary Cardona’s feet to the fire until Montana schools receive the appropriate Rescue Plan resources they need to make sure students can safely return to the classroom this fall. Public education is central to our ability to build a brighter future for our state, and after going above and beyond throughout the pandemic, I won’t let Montana schools get left behind.”
Last month, Senator Tester raised the alarm that some Montana schools may be ineligible receive their allotted share of American Rescue Plan funds under the existing guidance from the Department of Education. Tester pushed the Department to clarify their guidance and coordinate with the state so that Montana schools would receive full funding, leading to today’s announcement.
Tester led the fight to ensure that schools in rural America received the critical funding they needed to keep their doors open and continue safely educating students. Tester was the only member of the Montana Delegation to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan, and has secured $382,019,236 in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for Montana schools to date as a result. Prior ESSER funding has been used to upgrade ventilation systems, increase the number of educators in schools to reduce class sizes, provide personal protective equipment to students and staff, and create summer programs to make up for learning loss.