Tester Statement on Rescue Plan Funding for Montana Schools

Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in support of this funding

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released a statement after the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) announced its new $3.8 million Afterschool Grant Program, which is funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) program.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, but this pandemic has put a real strain on Montana students, and I am glad schools in our state will have access to these critical resources as they continue working to make up for learning lost during the pandemic. Montana’s schools have been on the frontlines of this crisis, and I’m proud to have secured this funding. I’m going to keep working to ensure every child in Montana has the support they need to get back on their feet and receive the quality education they need to thrive.”

According to OPI, the $3.8 million grant will be allocated based on a formula that considers program location, students served, and community needs over a three-year period. Eligibility guidelines and an Intent to Apply Form are available on the OPI website or at https://opi.mt.gov/COVID-19-Information/ESSER/Montana-ESSER-After-School-Grant.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan, which provided this funding.

As a former schoolteacher, Tester is a fierce advocate for Montana’s kids, teachers, schools, and families. He recently secured a commitment from the Department of Education to 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 safely return to in-person learning. Tester has secured more than $385 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for Montana schools to date as a result.