FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Arntzen Attempts to Rewrite Record as Anemic Campaign Struggles to Garner Support
Arntzen Campaign for State Superintendent Has Drawn Fewer than 100 Donors, Not One of Which is an Active Educator
Helena, MT – As Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen struggles to garner support for her re-election campaign, her office is attempting to rewrite her long record of opposition to Montana public schools, with an OPI spokesperson audaciously claiming that Arntzen “is not pro-privatization of Montana public schools.”
Arntzen’s efforts in support of school privatization are well documented. Arntzen appeared with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at an ALEC-sponsored panel last year in support of privatizing Montana’s public schools, and supported DeVos’s plan to “shift more than $1.5 million [in Montana COVID-19 relief funds] to private and home schools, up from about $206,469 that the schools are due under current law.” Elsie has refused to stand up for Montana’s public schools — when the Trump administration rolled out its budget for 2021, Arntzen cheered a $30 million cut to Montana schools. Arntzen also failed to show up for the most basic bipartisan legislation in support of public schools during the 2019 legislature.
Given her animosity towards public education, it’s no surprise that Elsie’s campaign is failing to generate any kind of support. Fewer than 100 individuals have given money to her lackluster campaign — not one of whom is a current teacher. Melissa Romano, on the other hand, has outraised Arntzen quarter after quarter, bringing nearly 2,000 individual donors into her campaign — including nearly 400 public school teachers.
“Time and again, Elsie Arntzen has proven that she’s no friend to Montana’s public schools, and her campaign is flailing as a result,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “Montana kids deserve a champion for quality public education and Montana educators deserve someone they can respect. Arntzen isn’t either.”
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