Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

May 17, 2015

School Choice in Montana

This legislative session, Montana became the 27th state to enact a school choice bill. The new law (SB 410) allows for tax deductions to qualified public school programs and scholarship organizations supporting private schools. Here’s the text of the bill:

Right now, we’re trying to understand the implications of the bill for our Catholic Schools. Here’s an article which attempts to explain the bill: The explanation was written by the Friedman Foundation which I will work with to get explanations for our schools.

I have more questions than answers. But we should celebrate this small victory which I hope will portend progress toward educational opportunities for our students.

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

The Week Ahead

Monday: office (Helena)

Tuesday: Sacred Heart (Miles City) meetings

Wednesday: Billings Catholic Schools meetings

Thursday: St. Labre Board meeting & graduation

Friday: return to Helena & office

This week: 1.138 miles

Last week: 844 miles

2014-15: 46,193 miles

Montana Catholic Schools

Serving 3800+ students in 24 Catholic schools across the Treasure State

For Principals

  • Catherine Kirchner, a theology teacher at St. Labre HS, has accepted the position as principal of St. Mary's in Livingston. She will be working to set up a blended learning program at that great little school.
  • Last week, the founding members of the Great Falls Catholic School system met with Bishop Warfel. The group outlined a new governance structure (a central Board of Directors and school-level Advisory Councils) in order to work toward promoting Catholic identity, common vision, strategic planning, and financial sustainability. The group will be working through the summer to establish the framework of this new enterprise.
  • Thanks to all schools for submitting their MAPS permission letters. We should be able to put together a report this summer to establish state-wide Catholic school norms
  • Before signing up for MAPS next year, contact me first. We're looking at collaborating to keep costs down
  • Missoula Catholic Schools has received the gift of computers and switches from a local company. Contact them if you are interested.
  • Dynamic Catholic is putting together a Teacher Minister program. Let me know if you're interested. Here's their website:
  • There is a remarkable opportunity for principals next spring to gather with principals and superintendents from Utah, Nevada, Arizona and other mountain states. The Intermountain Leadership Conference Thursday, March 3 and Friday March 4, 2015. The speaker/facilitator is Ann M. Garrido. Her book, Redeeming Administration: 12 Spiritual Habits for Catholic Leaders in Parishes, Schools, Religious Communities and Other Institutions, is excellent. She presented at NCEA last year and this year. Her insight into administration is meaningful and applicable, and her presentation style combines faith, practicality, and business.

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