Montana Office of Public Instruction

Last updated
Office of Public Instruction
Agency overview
Jurisdiction State of Montana
Headquarters Helena, Montana
Annual budget $1.009 billion (2019)
Agency executive

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is the state education agency of Montana. Elsie Arntzen currently serves as the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. The agency is headquartered in Helena.


The people of Montana have elected a Superintendent of Public Instruction as one of the five members of the executive branch since 1889. By law, the superintendent has general supervision of the K-12 public schools and school districts. The superintendent also serves as a member of the Land Board, [1] the State Library Commission, [2] and as an ex officio non-voting member of the Board of Public Education, [3] the Board of Regents, [4] and the Board of Education. [5]

School data 2018-19 [6]

School Data 2008-2009
Elementary Schools435
Middle, 7&8, Junior High Schools217
High Schools171
Total Schools823

School Graduation Rates

School YearGraduation Rate [7]

Denise Juneau 2009-2017

Denise Juneau took office on January 5, 2009. In that same year tobacco use among Montana teens declined [8] and student Student ACT scores were reporting up in 2009 from 2008. However, those two 2009 reported successes were attributed to the previous superintendent of Public Instruction, Linda McCulloch. [9] In that same year math scores showed that Montana fourth and eighth–graders continued to test above the national average, [10] and the number of students who struggle with reading was down from 2008. [11]

In 2009, Montana's leadership in key Indian Education policies was recognized. [12] Bozeman middle–school student Marina Dimitrov became America's Top Young Scientist. [13] The National Indian Education Association named Denise Juneau 2009 Educator of the Year, [14] and under Juneau's leadership Montana became one of only seven states receiving grants to increase the number of graduates. [15]

At the end of 2009, Montana was awarded grants for schools to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students. [16] Juneau also promoted local agriculture through farm to school programs. [17]

Montana Superintendents of Public Instruction

Elsie Arntzen 2017–Present
Denise Juneau 2009–2017
Linda McCulloch 2001–2009
Nancy Keenan 1989–2001
Ed Argenbright1981–1989
Georgia Ruth Rice1977–1981
Delores Colburg1969–1977
Harriet Miller [18] 1957–1969
Mary M. Condon1949–1957
Elizabeth Ireland1941–1949
Ruth Reardon1937–1941
Mary Trumper 1917–1929
Henry A. Davee1905–1917
W. W. Welch1901–1905
E. W. Carlton1897–1901
E. A. Steere1893–1897
John Gannon1889–1893

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