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January 19, 2018-- Letter to Montana from Secretary DeVos regarding State Plan

January 19, 2018

Honorable Elsie Arntzen
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Montana Office of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620-2501

Dear Superintendent Arntzen:

I am pleased to approve Montana’s consolidated State plan under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to implement the requirements of covered programs under the ESEA and of the amended McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act). I congratulate you on this significant accomplishment.

My decision regarding Montana’s consolidated State plan is based on input from U.S. Department of Education (Department) staff who reviewed and carefully considered the plan submitted by Montana. Consistent with ESSA, the Department conducted a peer review of the sections in your consolidated State plan related to Title I, Part A and Title III, Part A of the ESEA and Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Act. The Department only reviewed information provided in Montana’s consolidated State plan that was responsive to the Revised State Plan Template for the Consolidated State Plan that was issued on March 13, 2017. I have concluded that Montana’s consolidated State plan satisfies those requirements. Accordingly, Montana’s consolidated State plan that was submitted on January 19, 2018, warrants full approval.

In its consolidated State Plan, a State must describe how low-income and minority children enrolled in schools assisted with Title I, Part A funds are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field or inexperienced teachers, and the measures the State will use to evaluate and publicly report its progress with respect to reducing any disproportionate rates consistent with ESEA section 1111(g)(1)(B). In its consolidated State plan, Montana describes a plan to collect the data for inexperienced and ineffective teachers and provide an amendment to its plan to include the data by February 2019. In order to receive its fiscal year 2019 allocation, Montana must amend its consolidated State plan to provide the requisite description to meet this requirement. Please submit this amendment for the Department's review and approval no later than May 15, 2019.

Montana’s consolidated State plan remains in effect for the duration of State’s participation in the programs covered by the plan. Each State is responsible for administering all programs included in its consolidated State plan consistent with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements even if those requirements are not addressed in Montana’s plan. Montana must periodically review and revise the plan as necessary to reflect changes in strategies and covered programs. If Montana makes significant changes to its consolidated State plan at any time, such as changes to its accountability system or long-term goals, Montana must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval. The Department will provide information on the process for amending a State plan at a later date.

Please be aware that approval of Montana’s consolidated State plan is not a determination that all the information and data included in the State plan comply with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is Montana’s responsibility to comply with these civil rights requirements.

Please note that this letter, with Montana’s approved consolidated State plan, will be posted on the Department’s website.

It has been a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations for Montana’s approved consolidated State plan. Thank you for the important work that you and your staff are doing to support the transition to the ESSA and most importantly to lead Montana’s students to achieve at high levels. The Department looks forward to working with you to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Sincerely,

/s/

Betsy DeVos

cc: Honorable Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana



   
Last Modified: 01/23/2018