Steve Bullock has been the Governor of Montana since 2012. During that time, he has been a true friend to public schools. He vetoed an Education Savings Account (ESA) bill, and has made strong statements against the privatization of public education through vouchers and charters. His children attend public schools.
2012 and 2016
Education reform donors did not make significant contributions to either of Bullock’s campaigns for governor.
The Koch brothers spent more money to defeat Bullock “than any other candidate in Montana history.”
Bullock’s plan to overturn Citizen’s United is central to his campaign.
Bullock visited a charter program within a traditional public high school. During the visit he stated that he “rejected the idea that Montana should do what most other states have done — allow public tax-funded charter schools that operate like private schools, independent of school boards, state regulations and often without teachers’ unions.” He also stated that privatization diverts money from public schools. The state’s two charter schools are authorized and run by elected school boards.
A Bullock policy advisor testified against a charter school bill before the House Education Committee.
While campaigning for governor against a school choice candidate, Bullock stated, “We can move the ball overall without making a wholesale attack on our school system and teachers. We can’t do it if we take the dollars that ought to be going to public schools and we suck them out to private schools.”
Bullock didn’t sign or veto a tuition tax credit bill passed by the Montana legislature which allowed the bill to become state law. The law was ultimately overturned by the Montana Supreme Court in late 2018.
That same year Bullock vetoed an Education Savings Account bill.
In a statement on the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Bullock referred to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) a failure and pointed out that ESSA “gives Montana the ability to create an accountability system that meets our needs and measure success by more than just student test scores.”
Bullock’s children attend public schools. His mother was a Helena school trustee, his father was a teacher and an administrator, and his stepfather is a school superintendent.
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