Billings students transform prejudice into pride
Daily Montanan » Education
by Darrell Ehrlick
1w ago
A toddler touches the cactus bloom in the mural of Our Lady of Gudalupe in South Park in Billings, Montana at its dedication on June 1, 2024 (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick). Ysabelle Ruiz told classmates that her name was Bella Smith. That was just easier. It was easier not to explain the spelling of her name (yes, it begins with a Y, followed by an S). It helped avoid conversations about the last name Ruiz, too. Those things often led to a conversation about her Mexican heritage and some of the associated hostility that goes along with that. And her experiences weren’t so different than those of ..read more
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More public colleges admit high schoolers even before they’ve applied
Daily Montanan » Education
by Elaine S. Povich
2w ago
Photo illustration by Getty Images. For some ninth graders near Fresno, California, the invitation — years before they’ll don a cap and gown — comes out of the blue: You’ve been accepted to Fresno State, the letter says. Public universities across the country increasingly are sending such acceptance letters even before students apply to college. In more than a third of states, at least one public university now uses “direct admission” programs that automatically admit high school students if they meet certain academic criteria. The programs seek to help fill college and university roster ..read more
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Funds for clean school buses coming to hundreds of districts, White House says
Daily Montanan » Education
by Shauneen Miranda
2w ago
Electric school bus plugged in at a charging station (Photo by Getty Images). WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing effort to replace diesel-fueled school buses, the Biden administration on Wednesday said it will provide approximately 530 school districts across nearly all states with almost $1 billion to help them purchase clean school buses. The initiative, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, will give funds to school districts in 47 states and the District of Columbia to help them buy more than 3,400 clean school buses. Alaska, Haw ..read more
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Largest school district in Montana raises pay, still behind Wyoming
Daily Montanan » Education
by Keila Szpaller
3w ago
Photo illustration by Getty Images. Billings Public Schools, the largest district in Montana, used to get a flood of applications when it posted a teaching job. Now, Superintendent Erwin Garcia said it’s getting one application for every 10 positions, roughly a reverse of the 10 apps to one single job it used to get. He said teachers apply from other states  — “They love Montana” — but they change their minds once they realize the pay compared to the cost of housing. “We are scratching our heads right now,” Garcia said. “What are we going to do?” This month, Billings moved ahead on a dea ..read more
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Navajo leaders outraged after a Lakota student’s tribal regalia was removed at graduation
Daily Montanan » Education
by Shondiin Silversmith
3w ago
A school official at Farmington High School speaks with graduate Genesis White Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, before taking away her personalized graduation cap and replacing it with a generic one. White Bull had adorned her cap with beads and an eagle feather, culturally significant tribal regalia. (Screenshot via Facebook) Graduation season is typically a time for celebrating the success of students making it through their education programs. For some Indigenous students, part of that celebration includes having tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance a ..read more
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Billings librarians speak out on proposed school district changes to book collection procedure
Daily Montanan » Education
by Keila Szpaller
3w ago
Getty Images photo illustration. Billings Public Schools librarians said this week it was ironic they were being recognized for the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award from the Montana Library Association at the same time the school board was considering undercutting their work. Monday, librarians, parents, teachers and community members lined up to tell school board members to respect students’ rights, the First Amendment, taxpayer dollars, and the expertise of librarians and to oppose changes to a library collection procedure. The changes — not approved this week — would have added laye ..read more
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Biden celebrates ‘the power of an education’ on Brown v. Board 70th anniversary
Daily Montanan » Education
by Shauneen Miranda
1M ago
A section of the Brown v. Board mural is seen on April 2, 2024, at the Kansas Statehouse. The mural appears outside the former Kansas Supreme Court room where 11 state cases seeking to end segregation of public schools were argued and rejected before the federal case. (Photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector) WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday echoed his commitment to advancing racial and educational equity while celebrating the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Biden has spent this past week commemorating the anniversary of the ..read more
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Gianforte to Regents: Pass transgender college sports policy following court block
Daily Montanan » Education
by Nicole Girten
1M ago
Students walk between buildings during a class change at Montana State University in Bozeman. (MSU photo by Colter Peterson/Provided by MSU) Gov. Greg Gianforte penned a letter Wednesday asking the Board of Regents to restrict transgender youth from participating in university school sports after the Montana Supreme Court blocked the legislature from making such policy decisions. “While I disagree with the Court’s analysis, it leaves open a path for the Board of Regents to enact policies to protect girls and women on Montana’s colleges and universities,” Gianforte said. Gianforte requested th ..read more
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Public charter schools in Montana set to open, related legislative tweaks possible
Daily Montanan » Education
by Keila Szpaller
1M ago
Photo illustration by Getty Images. The Montana Legislature may consider “minor” changes to statutes related to public charter schools during its 2025 session following a recent court order, said a legislator and chairperson of an education committee. But 18 schools are slated to open this year, according to the Office of Public Instruction. Rep. Dave Bedey, R-Hamilton, said Thursday he believes the bill that opened the door for more charters is clear as written. “At the end of the day, I’m just gratified that schools across the state are going to be able to put these innovative programs into ..read more
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Federal probe into discrimination expands at Montana State University
Daily Montanan » Education
by Keila Szpaller
1M ago
Montana State University is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights for discrimination. (Keila Szpaller/The Daily Montanan) Montana State University faces two more investigations into federal civil rights abuses, including that the flagship failed to respond to discrimination reports based on sex, race and disability, and that it retaliated against a student who advocated on behalf of LGBTQ+ peers. Since last fall, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has sent six total notices to MSU President Waded Cruzado about open investigatio ..read more
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