The State of Montana Office of Public Instruction has released the total number of all students enrolled in public, private and home school settings.

KGVO spoke with Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen about the numbers.

“I'm really pleased to announce that our public school enrollments are up and that means that everything that occurred in the last 18 months in the pandemic where we saw more work at the kitchen table, then we had our young students Kindergarten through middle school that were mostly at home have now come back, but we're also looking to see if any of these are brand new enrollments,” said Arntzen.

Arntzen singled out the numbers in Montana schools.

“We have the highest in 20 years,” said Arntzen. “We have children in education that include those in public, private and of course our home schools in Montana and number stands at 165,336.”

Arntzen said the number of students in Montana’s public schools reached a nearly 20 year high.

“We can break that down to where we have a two and a half percent increase in our public school enrollment,” she said. “This is the largest public school enrollment of children from kindergarten all the way to high school in 19 years, and that's 149,334.”

Arntzen thanked the parents who have chosen public schools for their children, and urged them to work together with local school boards for the betterment of their children’s education.

“Parents are choosing public school,” she said. “That just means that that voice at the microphone in school board meetings is there for a reason. It’s there for a reason to say that ‘trustees we want to trust you. We want our children to be educated in the public school systems in Montana’, but that also says to our school leaders, that e also need to trust parents, that it is a two way street, that our parents, our teachers and our school leaders must come together for the education for our children for our future’.

The actual numbers are 149,334 students enrolled in public schools; Montana’s home school registered enrollment declined from 9,668 to 7,368 students, a decline of 25.3%. This is the second-highest enrollment in the last 30 years, with last year being the highest; the largest increase came in private school enrollment which increased from 7,600 to 8,364, marking an increase of 13.6% the highest private school enrollment in 14 years.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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