Montana schools get $25 million to boost in education

Montana schools will soon be flooded with money. The U.S Department of Education just renewed a seven-year grant for $24.5 million to help with educational programs.

On the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the grant will continue to support services like tutoring, summer math programs, and even mentoring programs for low-income families.

John Cech, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education said, these programs make it possible for all of Montana’s students to go to college.

“Montana has a good number of low-income students across the state and first-generation student who if they go to college they will be the first to ever go to college, we are working with 18 different communities around the state,” said Cech. 

Those communities include all seven of the reservations among other areas across the state that are considered high risk for low graduation rates.

The rest of the money will come from a  $650,000 grant from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington foundation as part of the IGraduation Initiative, with the goal of raising graduation rates to 86 percent in 2017.

The focus of IGraduation is to make sure high school students are prepared for their future. Some of the core ideas will be for students to take the right classes for their careers. Also, they will learn to network by meeting professionals within those fields. And of course, there will be help with education after high school. Cech said this strategy will create better opportunities for Montana’s youth. 

“Learning doesn’t stop at high school it should never stop is a lifelong thing and to help those students to make the connection to make that next point in learning whether it’s a two-year institution, four-year institution or an apprenticeship program,” said Cech. 

He added although the idea behind the initiative is to get students to graduate, they hope the opportunities to learn and work will get students to stay in the state. a timeline hasn’t been given yet on when the money will be made available to the schools.

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