Settlement Reached in School Funding Lawsuit

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Montana’s public schools will receive a $4.6 million state funding increase under a settlement reached in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of education groups.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports schools will receive the 2.43 percent funding increase approved by the 2011 Legislature.

The school funding bill included a provision that eliminated the increase if Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a separate bill that would have transferred $9 million from several earmarked revenue sources into the general fund. Schweitzer vetoed that bill, saying the money transfer was not needed because the state’s general fund could cover the school funding increase.

Attorney General Steve Bullock says the settlement “reflects the Legislature’s obligation to adequately fund quality public schools.”

The settlement with the Montana Quality Education Coalition was filed Wednesday in District Court in Helena.

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