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The federal government has denied Montana’s plan to not require mandatory standardized statewide testing in schools because of challenges posed by the pandemic. The state had proposed to instead conduct local voluntary assessments set by school districts and had also proposed to focus on measures selected by districts to fulfill the state requirement of annually reporting to parents on student achievement.

Advocates say some bills in Montana will make it harder for people with disabilities to vote. House Bill 176 ends voter registration on the day of elections and it passed both chambers last week. Disability Rights Montana staff attorney Beth Brenneman says it presents a major hurdle to people with difficult health concerns.

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