Montana Democrats split on charter schools
John Bicknell | February 17, 2017
A Montana Democratic state representative wants a statewide charter school system, but  the Democratic governor does not appear to be on board. Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy introduced legislation to set up a seven-member commission to run the system. But Siri Smillie, an education policy adviser to Gov. Steve Bullock, testified against the bill at a House […]
Montana gearing up for renewed school choice debate
John Bicknell | December 23, 2016
School choice supporters in Montana are pushing state legislators to introduce new reforms while they await a court decision on the constitutionality of a tax credit scholarship program enacted in 2013. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that any attempt to expand choice will be opposed by the MEA-MFT, Montana’s teacher’s union. Read more here.
Montana tax-credit scholarship restored by court
Montana tax-credit scholarship restored by court
Heather Kays | April 01, 2016
Flathead County District Court in Montana issued a preliminary injunction Thursday restoring the state’s school choice program after a new Department of Revenue rule had blocked families from using tax-credit scholarships to attend religiously affiliated schools. The injunction will remain in place until further action by the court. “When you exclude the religious school segment […]
Survey: Montanans support transferring public lands to the state
Survey: Montanans support transferring public lands to the state
Marjorie Haun | March 28, 2016
A majority of Montanans support turning some federally-managed public lands over to the state government.
Arkansas governor calls rolling back Medicaid expansion ‘unbiblical’
Arkansas governor calls rolling back Medicaid expansion ‘unbiblical’
Jason Hart | March 23, 2016
Ending Medicaid expansion in Arkansas would be "unbiblical," Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a March 17 radio interview.
A setback for school choice in Montana
Amelia Hamilton | December 17, 2015
With educational opportunities at risk, school choice in Montana is headed to court.
School choice is under threat in Montana
Amelia Hamilton | November 19, 2015
School choice is just getting started in Montana, and new proposals are already threatening it. Earlier this year that state passed a scholarship tax credit program, which assists students with private school tuition. But the Montana Department of Revenue has moved to ensure students aren’t able to use this tuition assistance at any religious schools (including schools [...]
Banning religious schools from choice program could be illegal
Banning religious schools from choice program could be illegal
Mary C. Tillotson | October 12, 2015
"The First Amendment does not allow the government to discriminate among religions or religious people or religious institutions. They can't say that students can use a scholarship at a nonreligious school but can't at a religious school," she said. "It's discriminating against religion, hostile toward religion."
After 32 years, 76-year-old energy exec still waiting on the feds
After 32 years, 76-year-old energy exec still waiting on the feds
Rob Nikolewski | August 05, 2015
Sidney Longwell, a 76-year-old energy executive, has waited 32 years for the federal government to make a decision on a lease he purchased in Montana.
Montana police search farmer’s car, find no drugs, and seize his money anyway
Montana police search farmer’s car, find no drugs, and seize his money anyway
Greg Markle | June 10, 2015
By Greg Markle | Watchdog Opinion A farmer named Lorenzo Ayala saved up $16,000 and was on his way to spend it on tractor parts. Unfortunately, he never got those tractor parts. The money was confiscated by Montana police. The police say they smelled cologne and other strong smells in the cluttered car, which they know can [...]