NPE Action endorses Steven Bullock for Governor of Montana

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The Network for Public Education Action gives our unqualified endorsement to Steven Bullock, for Governor of the State of Montana.

Governor Bullocks’ strong, support for public education and democratically governed schools is well known throughout his state. In 2016, The Network for Public Education’s State Report Card ranked Montana 4th in the nation. Under Governor Bullock’s leadership, the state received a rating of “A” for its resistance to privatization and for its resistance to high-stakes testing.

“Public education has thrived under Steve’s leadership. He has worked with the legislature to get record levels of funding for Montana schools, and he has kept state college tuition rates under control and affordable. Most important of all, he has kept Montana as one of the few states in the nation that has blocked privatization and does not allow privately managed charter schools,” said Network for Public Education, Executive Director, Carol Burris.

Paul Horton, a history teacher and public school activist, had this to say about Governor Bullock. “I was visiting a friend in Bozeman, Montana this summer and was invited to a talk given by Steve Bullock, the current governor of Montana who is running against a Koch funded candidate who supports education privatization. What I heard was heartening for someone from a city where privatization is dictated by an unelected school board. Gov. Bullock pledged that he would fight for public education at all levels and continue to work to increase investment in public schools and programs. Steve Bullock is a candidate teachers, parents, and students can trust. He believes in public education and continued 100% investment in public schools.

Steve explained to us why his support for public education is so strong. “As the father of three children who attend public school, I know firsthand that what goes on in our schools is very important to families around the state. As Governor, I also know that having a great system of public education is the foundation for building and nurturing a thriving economy. Throughout my career, both as a private attorney and in public service, I have fought to ensure that we have great public schools in Montana. As Governor, I have made record investments in public education, vetoed measures that would have otherwise diverted funds away from or weakened our public schools, and used my position to elevate and support the innovative work happening in classrooms all across Montana.”

Steve describes his resistance to privatization as follows, “Montana does not authorize public money to go to any private charter schools. I have and will continue to oppose any efforts to do so. Montana rule does allow public school districts, under the authority of the local school board, to apply for “public charter” status. This provision gives public schools additional flexibility to innovate and implement new strategies to improve student outcomes, but maintains accountability and transparency with the locally-elected school board and the Board of Public Education. Public resources should be used to support our outstanding public schools, which are open to all students, with any kind of need. I respect and will protect the rights of parents to choose to educate their children in non-public schools. I will not, however, support legislation that subsidizes that choice with public resources.”

Steve will face his opponent, businessman, Greg Gianforte, who supports choice and vouchers on November 8.