Montana gets $4.2M federal preschool grant, but money won't pay for new slots

Montana will get a new $4.2 million, one-year preschool grant, but it won’t go toward paying for the new seats that a previous $10 million per year grant created. 

The state’s $40 million, four-year preschool development grant is expiring after this school year. It’s created more than 1,000 high-quality preschool slots.

The new grant is part of a second round of the program, but it won’t replace the dollars from the old grant. Instead, it will go toward research, outreach and training to better understand and improve Montana’s existing preschool system. 

The state’s application wasn’t fully funded. It asked for about $6 million in federal funding with the state kicking in about $1.7 million. 

Siri Smillie, Bullock’s education adviser, said the state is working to revise the programs’ budget and activities. 

Officials from Gov. Steve Bullock’s office and the

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