State seeking comments on grant to create positive school climates

Megan Michelotti

The Montana Office of Public Instruction is seeking public comment on “high-need” criteria for the Stronger Connections Grant, which will encourage schools to promote safer and healthier learning environments that create positive school climates.

The two-year grant is for activities coming in the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years. Funds will be available July 1 and must be spent by Sept. 30, 2025, OPI stated.

The federal congressional Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of June 2022 granted the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) $4.8 million for Title IV, Part A also known as Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

According to OPI’s website, “The SSAE program is intended to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of state educational agencies, local educational agencies and local communities to provide all students with: Access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, safe and healthy students and effective use of technology to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.”

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