The Montana Rural Education Association is an organization which is concerned about all aspects of the K-12 public education system in rural Montana. The organization is particularly concerned with the following basic educational premises:
- That equality of educational opportunity regardless of their geographic location is a constitutional right of all Montana students;
- That the state must provide a funding system which provides adequate funds for all students in Montana;
- That the “local control” provided to school boards in the Montana Constitution be realized in all aspects of school district proceedings;
- MREA supports the accreditation standards adopted by the Board of Public Education, provided sufficient state funding is available for implementation of the standards;
- MREA is opposed to the “forced consolidation” of school districts. Forced consolidation is legislative, administrative or executive action taken at the state or regional levels that mandates the consolidation of school districts.
- MREA is committed to providing all students of Montana equality of educational opportunity. Each person in this state must be offered equal educational opportunity of they are to achieve individual success. MREA is not only committed to educational equality, but just as important, to quality educational experience.
- MREA is committed to work toward an educational funding system that is weighted to reflect the increased cost of educating students in rural areas of Montana, including all aspects of state ANB funding, transportation and capital outlay.
- MREA shall work to ensure that the control and supervision of local school districts remain at the local level.
- MREA realizes that the consolidation of school districts in Montana has been a voluntary and ongoing process, and strongly believes that local communities and school boards are in the best position to evaluate and initiate voluntary consolidation efforts and will only support consolidation on that premise.
- MREA is committed to work with all other educational groups for the betterment of Montana students.
- MREA will insure that effective lobbying efforts are undertaken with the Montana Legislature, the State Board of Public Education, the Office of Public Instruction and all other public or private entities that have an effect on rural education in Montana.
- MREA pledges that its members will receive timely information regarding issues that affect rural education in Montana and will also encourage the participation of member districts in lobbying efforts when appropriate.
- MREA endorses the federal requirement that “874” funds cannot be considered in the equalization formula until the state funding system meets the federal equity test. Until that occurs, MREA is opposed to attempts by the State of Montana to consider “874” funds in the equalization formula. MREA recognizes Montana’s constitutional commitment to the cultural heritage of American Indians and their educational goals.