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Superintendent of public instruction asks lawmakers to back preschool, graduation bills


HELENA, Montana — Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau is asking lawmakers to support state-sponsored preschool and initiatives that build on efforts to increase graduation rates.

Juneau spoke to a joint session of the Montana House and Senate on Monday. The Democrat is in her second term.

She says more students are staying in school, the graduation rate is at an all-time high of 85 percent and that dropout rates have decreased as part of an initiative called Graduation Matters.

Juneau says her Schools of Promise initiative targeting several of the lowest performing schools would be expanded to four new communities under proposed legislation.

Juneau asked lawmakers to increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 years old to 18 years old and support a measure that would give state financial support to schools for 19-year-old students.

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