Jan 21, 2014 7:39 PM by Lindsey Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HELENA - Montana's Office of Public Instruction is looking to give away $190,000 to programs that curb the state's high school dropout rates.
That money is coming from the Graduation Matters Challenge Fund, which receives donations from private donations.
OPI is looking for applicants now through February 14.
Graduation Matters initiatives are active in 33 communities across Montana.
"Through these 33 communities they've actually created about 250 local business [and] school partnerships with mainstreet businesses. In some communities the United Ways are really coming to the table and actually leading those initiatives. So, it looks different in every community and their plans really reflect their context of their school and their community," said state superintendent Denise Juneau (D-MT).
Juneau attributes the decline in Montana's dropout rate to the Graduation Matters programs implemented on a local level.
During the 2011-2012 school year, the state saw a 4.1% dropout rate, which is down by nearly 600 students from 2009.
OPI will release updated numbers from the 2012-2013 school year early next month.