Article X, Montana Constitution
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| Text of Section 1:
Educational Goals and Duties
(1) It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.
(2) The state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.
(3) The legislature shall provide a basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools. The legislature may provide such other educational institutions, public libraries, and educational programs as it deems desirable. It shall fund and distribute in an equitable manner to the school districts the state's share of the cost of the basic elementary and secondary school system.
| Text of Section 2:
Public School Fund
The public school fund of the state shall consist of:
(1) Proceeds from the school lands which have been or may hereafter be granted by the United States,
(2) Lands granted in lieu thereof,
(3) Lands given or granted by any person or corporation under any law or grant of the United States,
(4) All other grants of land or money made from the United States for general educational purposes or without special purpose,
(5) All interests in estates that escheat to the state,
(6) All unclaimed shares and dividends of any corporation incorporated in the state,
(7) All other grants, gifts, devises or bequests made to the state for general educational purposes.
| Text of Section 3:
Public School Fund Inviolate
The public school fund shall forever remain inviolate, guaranteed by the state against loss or diversion.
| Text of Section 4:
Board of Land Commissioners
The governor, superintendent of public instruction, auditor, secretary of state, and attorney general constitute the board of land commissioners. It has the authority to direct, control, lease, exchange, and sell school lands and lands which have been or may be granted for the support and benefit of the various state educational institutions, under such regulations and restrictions as may be provided by law.
| Text of Section 5:
Public School Fund Revenue
(1) Ninety-five percent of all the interest received on the public school fund and ninety-five percent of all rent received from the leasing of school lands and all other income from the public school fund shall be equitably apportioned annually to public elementary and secondary school districts as provided by law.
(2) The remaining five percent of all interest received on the public school fund, and the remaining five percent of all rent received from the leasing of school lands and all other income from the public school fund shall annually be added to the public school fund and become and forever remain an inseparable and inviolable part thereof.
| Text of Section 6:
Aid Prohibited to Sectarian Schools
(1) The legislature, counties, cities, towns, school districts, and public corporations shall not make any direct or indirect appropriation or payment from any public fund or monies, or any grant of lands or other property for any sectarian purpose or to aid any church, school, academy, seminary, college, university, or other literary or scientific institution, controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination.
(2) This section shall not apply to funds from federal sources provided to the state for the express purpose of distribution to non-public education.
| Text of Section 7:
Nondiscrimination in Education
No religious or partisan test or qualification shall be required of any teacher or student as a condition of admission into any public educational institution. Attendance shall not be required at any religious service. No sectarian tenets shall be advocated in any public educational institution of the state. No person shall be refused admission to any public educational institution on account of sex, race, creed, religion, political beliefs, or national origin.
| Text of Section 8:
School District Trustees
The supervision and control of schools in each school district shall be vested in a board of trustees to be elected as provided by law.
| Text of Section 9:
Boards of Education
(1) There is a state board of education composed of the board of regents of higher education and the board of public education. It is responsible for long-range planning, and for coordinating and evaluating policies and programs for the state's educational systems. It shall submit unified budget requests. A tie vote at any meeting may be broken by the governor, who is an ex officio member of each component board.
(2) (a) The government and control of the Montana university system is vested in a board of regents of higher education which shall have full power, responsibility, and authority to supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana university system and shall supervise and coordinate other public educational institutions assigned by law.
(b) The board consists of seven members appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the senate, to overlapping terms, as provided by law. The governor and superintendent of public instruction are ex officio non-voting members of the board.
(c) The board shall appoint a commissioner of higher education and prescribe his term and duties.
(d) The funds and appropriations under the control of the board of regents are subject to the same audit provisions as are all other state funds.
(3) (a) There is a board of public education to exercise general supervision over the public school system and such other public educational institutions as may be assigned by law. Other duties of the board shall be provided by law.
(b) The board consists of seven members appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the senate, to overlapping terms as provided by law. The governor, commissioner of higher education and state superintendent of public instruction shall be ex officio non-voting members of the board.
| Text of Section 10:
State University Funds
The funds of the Montana university system and of all other state institutions of learning, from whatever source accruing, shall forever remain inviolate and sacred to the purpose for which they were dedicated. The various funds shall be respectively invested under such regulations as may be provided by law, and shall be guaranteed by the state against loss or diversion. The interest from such invested funds, together with the rent from leased lands or properties, shall be devoted to the maintenance and perpetuation of the respective institutions.
| Text of Section 11:
Public Land Trust, Disposition
(1) All lands of the state that have been or may be granted by congress, or acquired by gift or grant or devise from any person or corporation, shall be public lands of the state. They shall be held in trust for the people, to be disposed of as hereafter provided, for the respective purposes for which they have been or may be granted, donated or devised.
(2) No such land or any estate or interest therein shall ever be disposed of except in pursuance of general laws providing for such disposition, or until the full market value of the estate or interest disposed of, to be ascertained in such manner as may be provided by law, has been paid or safely secured to the state.
(3) No land which the state holds by grant from the United States which prescribes the manner of disposal and minimum price shall be disposed of except in the manner and for at least the price prescribed without the consent of the United States.
(4) All public land shall be classified by the board of land commissioners in a manner provided by law. Any public land may be exchanged for other land, public or private, which is equal in value and, as closely as possible, equal in area.
- State constitution
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- Montana Judicial Branch, "Montana Constitution"
- Montana.gov, "Chapter 21: A People's Constitution (1972)"
- Montana State Legislature, "Highlights from Legislative History"
- Montana Historical Society, "The Blessings of Liberty: Montana's Constitutions"
- Montana Policy Institute, "Home"
- Beartooth NBC, "Big Sky Chronicles: Montana Constitution,"
- Montana PBS, "For This and Future Generations..."
- Elison, Larry and Fritz Snyder. (2011). The Montana State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- University of Montana's William J. Jameson Law Library, "Documentary History of the Ratification of the Montana Constitution"