Montana Superintendent Refuses to Delay School Payments

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's budgeting director said school districts may have to wait to receive the money until Friday

By Associated Press

HELENA — Montana Public Schools Superintendent Elsie Arntzen protested a suggestion to delay spring payments to schools by a week.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the $55 million in payments for Montana schools were scheduled to be issued on March 24, but the governor’s budget director suggested waiting until March 31 due to cash flow issues.

Short-term delays for school funding are permitted under state law and are common this time of year when the state waits on income taxes.

Office of Public Instruction spokesman Dylan Klapmeier said Thursday that Arntzen directed the money be sent on schedule. Arntzen said the state funding is crucial to schools.

Budget Director Dan Villa says Arntzen was trying to politicize a routine matter. Klapmeier said Arntzen confirmed her protest in response to a reporter’s query.

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