By Allyson Hagen, Office of Public Instruction

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has decided not to seek a waiver from the Department of Education from requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau explained the decision:

“After careful consideration of the impacts on Montana schools and the financial resources that would be necessary to meet the ‘all or nothing’ requirements of the waiver, it is clear the strings attached to this option do not make sense for our state.”

Juneau spent the past several months seeking input from Montanans regarding the waiver option, including representatives several statewide education groups.

Education leaders expressed concern that the waiver plan is a replacement program for current NCLB requirements, and would cost the state millions. Implementing the waiver requirements, which could be overruled by Congress, would be shortsighted, Juneau said.

Juneau, an advocate for rural states, said Montana will move forward with its current reform efforts to improve graduation rates, adopt higher standards in English and Math, and helping the lower performing Montana schools.