Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen was over the moon in praise for the Montana Legislature after the Finance and Claims Committee restored the education funding component to House Bill 2.

"My former colleagues in the Legislature really came through for students in Montana schools," Arntzen said on Wednesday. "They agree in putting students first before anything else, and I was very pleased with their actions. They recognized our most at-risk students by giving more monies towards special education at $1.4 million."

Artnzen said the most impressive aspect of the committee's action is that they provided even more than the superintendent requested.

"Being very fiscally-minded, I had asked for only one-time only for this two years of the biennium," she continued. " But, they listened and recognized that it is not just a two year challenge, but it's an ongoing challenge in Montana. So, they went ahead and that $1.4 million will be added on for the next biennium after this one as well."

With the Senate action, close to $20 million more has been added back to the education budget.