FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montana to Receive 3-Year, $24 Million Federal Literacy Grant

HELENA—The Office of Public Instruction announced today that Montana will be the recipient of a federal competitive grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is through the federal Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. The award amount is $8,062,385 each year for the next three years. This is the second consecutive time that Montana’s application for these competitive funds has been successful.

The purpose of the grant is to advance literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, such as reading and writing in children and students through high schools, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children. The federal funds are disbursed through competitive subgrants from the OPI’s Comprehensive Literacy Program. 5% of the funds stay at the OPI for state-level activities. The other 95% of the funds are disbursed to schools with 15% going to preschool programs, 40% elementary, and 40% to middle and high schools.

“This federal grant will assist the OPI in meeting many of the federal mandates within our ESSA state plan. Showing growth in student achievement, reducing student achievement gaps, and increasing digital skills in reading and writing are part of Montana’s long-term goals for student success. These funds will also spotlight positive educational transitions,” Arntzen said Monday.

“The ultimate outcome of the Montana Comprehensive Literacy Program is to improve literacy skills of disadvantaged children and students across Montana,” Debbie Hunsaker, Administrator for the OPI’s Educational Opportunity and Equity Division, added.

Additional information will be sent to eligible districts in mid-October. Local districts can contact Debbie Hunsaker or Terri Barclay for more information about the grant.

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CONTACT:   Dylan Klapmeier

                       Director of Communications, Montana Office of Public Instruction

                       dylan.klapmeier@mt.gov

                       406-444-3559