- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana lawmakers are considering adding state aid to a school achievement program currently funded by the federal government.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and Democrat Rep. Carolyn Pease-Lopez asked the House Appropriations Committee Monday to allocate $670,000 to the Montana Schools of Promise initiative.

It is the first time Juneau has asked for state funding for the program since it began five years ago.

Juneau said that since that time the program’s coaching on graduation, instruction and mental health has drastically improved academic, graduation and suicide rates in four school districts.

Federal funding totaling $1.2 million annually requires the program to take place in the lowest performing districts, which were on the Cheyenne and Fort Peck reservations.

The proposed funding would expand the program to four additional school districts.

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