Superintendent Arntzen Reopens Applications for Stronger Connections Grant to all Districts


HELENA – Superintendent Arntzen has decided to reopen applications for the Stronger Connections Grant (SCG) based on the remaining funds and the needs of Montana school districts. Through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) of June 2022, the Montana Office of Public Instruction was awarded $4.8 million in additional funding for Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Funds are awarded through a competitive subgrant application process.

“Prioritizing the needs of our Montana schools are recognized through this grant,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “Reopening the application for this grant will allow more districts to serve the mental health needs of our students. I encourage all of our districts to put the safety of our Montana students and communities first.”

Superintendent Arntzen has decided to reopen the SCG to all districts that have high needs in two or more of the following:

- high student-to-mental health professional ratio

- high rates of chronic absenteeism

- exclusionary discipline

- referrals to the juvenile justice system

- bullying/harassment

- community and school violence

- substance abuse

- natural disaster or traumatic event that has had a significant impact on students (Covid-19 does not qualify)

Previously districts qualified with a poverty rate of 40% or more and one or more of the characteristics listed above.

The SCG has reopened on EGrants for all districts and will close on June 20th at 4:00 PM, there will be no late submissions accepted. Please note, if districts completed an application and did not hit the 40% poverty numbers, the application will be re-graded during this round, there is no need to resubmit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Paige Sedahl,, or Michelle Cusey,


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