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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 1
INTRODUCED BY L. MCCULLOCH, M. HALLIGAN
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA SUPPORTING THE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT IS COMMENSURATE WITH THE GROWTH OF MONTANA'S ECONOMY AND INFLATION, THAT ADEQUATELY COMPENSATES TEACHERS, AND THAT MEETS THE STATE'S OBLIGATION UNDER ARTICLE X, SECTION 1(3), OF THE MONTANA CONSTITUTION TO FUND THE STATE'S SHARE OF THE COST OF THE BASIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL SYSTEM.
WHEREAS, the public education system in Montana is vital to the future of the state's communities and economy; and
WHEREAS, Montana public school children consistently rank among the top students nationally and internationally on standardized academic tests; and
WHEREAS, the quality of Montana teachers and small class sizes relate directly to the excellent academic performance of Montana students; and
WHEREAS, Montana teachers now earn an average of $9,000 less than the national average paid to teachers; and
WHEREAS, raising teacher salaries will keep Montana competitive with other states and assist our quality teachers to remain in Montana; and
WHEREAS, although Montana voters have historically shown their commitment to public education by their broad support of local school levies, current state law imposes a maximum budget spending limitation on all school districts, prohibiting school districts from expending more than a maximum amount for each student regardless of local support for such expenditures; and
WHEREAS, as a result of these spending limits, approximately 27.5% of Montana's school districts have reached the allowable maximum budget amount; and
WHEREAS, school districts have a need for funding for building maintenance, construction or reconstruction, technology acquisition, textbooks, classroom supplies, and library materials; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Legislature is committed to the constitutional goal of providing a system of basic quality education and the guarantee of equality of educational opportunity to each person.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislature is committed to providing Montana's system of public education with funding that is commensurate with the growth in Montana's economy and inflation, that increases Montana teacher salaries to a level that is competitive with other states in the nation, and that meets the state's obligation under Article X, section 1(3), of the Montana Constitution to fund the state's share of the cost of the basic elementary and secondary school system and to providing funding for building maintenance, construction or reconstruction, technology acquisition, textbooks, classroom supplies, and library materials.
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Latest Version of HJ 1 (HJ0001.ENR)
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