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Montana aims to reduce dropout rate

June 18, 2010View for printing

State Superintendent Denise Juneau made a pitch for school funding and for raising the age at which students can drop out when she was in Billings last week for the Montana State University Billings Summer Institute on “Transforming Perceptions.”

Ms. Juneau, who spoke at the conference, stopped by The Outpost afterward with the state Office of Public Instruction’s communications director, Jessica Rhoades, to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

Ms. Juneau said that with the last legislative session and the federal stimulus bill, Montana was given $62 million extra for grades K-12.

“In the end we didn’t gain anything because the money was a one-time spending type of deal,” Ms. Juneau said. She said that going into the next session, Montana will start out $72 million in the hole.

“Schools can’t function without money though,” she said.

By EMERALD GILLERAN The Billings Outpost

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