The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Steve Bullock
Going Gubernatorial 

Let's Protect Our Public Schools

 


Whenever I visit rural Montana and see the public schools at the center of each town, I am immediately reminded of Montana’s strong public education system and how important it is to the success and livelihoods of our rural communities.

I strongly believe a good public education is one of this nation’s great equalizers. Whether you live in Glasgow, Scobey, Billings, or Missoula, a public education gives every Montana student an equal opportunity at building a successful future and being part of our robust economy.

As Governor, I’ve made it a top priority to make sure we responsibly invest in our public schools. And as other states have faced realities of budget cuts, overflowing classrooms and school privatization, here in Montana, we’ve increased our public education investments.

In 2013, I brought Democrats and Republicans together to approve a bill that rewrote Montana’s K-12 school funding formula. As a result, students in rural schools received their fair share of a much-needed public education funding boost.

As Governor, I’ve also made responsible investments in initiatives that are helping turn rural schools into 21st century classrooms. Partnering with the private sector, Montana aims to expand broadband internet access to 20,000 additional students over the next year. And right now, the Montana Digital Academy is helping twice as many students take advanced and specialty classes, giving them the tools they need to succeed in our growing economy.

I fight for public education because like most Montanans, I’m thankful for the public education I received. Lisa and I proudly send our kids to public schools. For us, the issue of public education isn’t political. It’s personal.

But the future of robust public education is at stake this election. My opponent, Greg Gianforte, through his organizations, promotes the false idea that public education is a “failed experiment.”

My opponent’s tax plan actually eliminates over $30 million from Montana’s local public schools, just to pay for a tax break that benefits out-of-state corporations. We’ve seen other states like Kansas put their public schools on the chopping block just to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Our kid’s education is not expendable.

Most Montanans have no problem with private schools, and I support every parent’s choice to send their children to the schools that align with their values. But this should never jeopardize the right of all children, regardless of where they live or what their families can afford, to have access to a great public education.

As we send our kids back to school, let’s remember that public education is a cornerstone of our communities. Indeed, it is the cornerstone of America’s thriving democracy. As your Governor, I’ll always fight to make sure it stays that way.

Steve Bullock is the Governor of Montana.

 

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