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Montana Traffic Education News - December 2017


Could a Montana Rule Change Keep Traffic Educators in the Profession?

The silver wave of retirements poses a challenge in many fields. We are encouraged that 117 new teachers in the past five years have completed the MSUN Traffic Safety Education (TSE) blended online courses which require only two weeks in Havre. However, 148 teachers chose not to renew their approval to teach traffic education and this causes some concern.Montana requires traffic education teachers to begin with 8 credits of traffic safety education (TSE) at MSUN.  Renewing teachers need an additional 4 TSE credits every five years until they have the 20 credits required for the Traffic Education endorsement.  Montana has 311 Montana traffic education teachers and 194 have earned their TE endorsement. Since 2015, the OPI will accept 60 renewal units for educator license renewal. 

We are exploring a possible change to keep the 20-credit TE endorsement and add TE certification with a new 12-credit benchmark option. Please contact Fran Penner-Ray to share your concerns and opinions on this possibility. Call (406) 444-4396 or email:


Winter issue of Montana Traffic Education Association News just published!

Visit MTEAOnline.org to read the latest issue of MTEA News with an article by 2017 Outstanding Traffic Education Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Wasson, on teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing teens how to drive; an article on sharing the road with wildlife, news from the OPI Traffic Education office, and more great Lesson Slam ideas and resources. Plan ahead to attend the annual conference in Bozeman, April 22-24, 2018.

Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season!  Contact the Traffic Education Office at 406.444.4432 or email Fran Penner-Ray, Traffic Education Director, or Patti Borneman, Traffic Education Program Specialist. Visit the new and improved Driver Education web pages at the OPI website: http://opi.mt.gov/DriverEd.  Curriculum updates are ongoing. Check out what's new!