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Education - Missoula College

Missoula College

Missoula College-Missoula Chamber
Please urge the Montana Legislature to pass House Bill 5, a bill that will fund the construction of Missoula College.  

With your help, Missoula College can increase its capacity to deliver the high quality two-year education and workforce training our community needs.  An educated workforce and the ability to train employees for the 21st century are critical to sustaining future economic development in Montana. House Bill 5 will fund the construction of Missoula College, creating jobs and greater opportunities for Montanans all over our state.

Current Missoula College facilities were designed to hold 700 students. With 2,500 students enrolled in 2012, Missoula College has had to use a collection of trailers and temporary buildings for classrooms. Despite the fact that Missoula College has had the highest growth rate of full-time or equivalent students of any two-year college in Montana, it is the only one in the state that has not received any major upgrades over the last decade.  It is time to build a Missoula College that better meets the needs of our state and our community!

Please send a message to Montana legislators asking them to support House Bill 5 and Missoula College.

Workforce Education

The Chambers support an effective, accessible, and affordable workforce education and training system.  As emphasized by the statewide Board of Regents’ CollegeNOW initiative, the two year colleges play a critical role in this effort.   Montana’s technical colleges are lagging behind obtaining state funding for major upgrades and modernization to help meet tightening skilled labor needs, both regionally and throughout Montana.  The Chambers believe that new facilities offering additional post-secondary workforce training and taking its equal place in the statewide 2-year post-secondary system is absolutely critical for our business community’s economy as well as our current and future workforce. 

K-12 Education

The Chambers support business involvement in all aspects of public education, and partnering with public education at all levels.  Specifically, we support expansion of vocational training opportunities.  Further, the Chambers support funding education on a formula that will benefit small and large school districts.  At present, the basis entitlement is distributed on a per school district formula where a large school district with a number of school buildings receives the same basic entitlement as a district with one or two buildings.  School districts in energy impacted areas in particular are seeing substantial increases in students from year toyear, however funding for these students from the state is based on the previous ANB enrollment unless enrollment exceeds 6%.  We feel that funding should be based on current ANB count, either actual or estimated. We support a basic entitlement that distributes funds on either a per school building or on a per pupil basis.  The Chambers also support local control of the expenditure of funds and curriculum content.  We encourage business involvement in all aspects of public education, including business partnering with public education at all levels.

We also support funding for students who turn 19 and are still in school as well as raising the dropout age from 16 to 18.  The business community is a stakeholder in the quality of public education.  Public education has the responsibility to prepare well-educated graduates who are ready to continue their education or   enter the workforce.  Finally, we support efforts to increase graduations rates from our public schools.

Higher Education

The Chambers support development of an adequate and predictable funding formula that will enable the higher education system to deliver affordable and quality education for all students. This support includes continuation of a formal long-range capital building plan and funding for the higher education system.  We also support modification of incentive programs to allow units to retain monies generated from research efforts and administrative savings.  Finally, we support efforts to keep tuition affordable for Montana residents/students.