Elsie Arntzen — No Friend to Montana’s Teachers

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

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Elsie Arntzen — No Friend to Montana’s Teachers

Helena, MT – This teacher appreciation week, it’s important to recognize the contributions of our state’s remarkable educators — and hold accountable those that fail to support them in their work. Over the course of her tenure as State Superintendent, Elsie Arntzen has been no friend to our public school teachers.

When the Trump administration rolled out its budget for 2021, Arntzen cheered the billion dollar cuts to public education — including a $30 million cut to Montana schools. Instead of standing up for Montana students and teachers, Arntzen put her name on Betsy DeVos’s press release touting the cuts. Arntzen has refused to stand up for Montana schools in the legislature — in the 2019 session alone, Arntzen failed to speak out against legislation that would have ended compulsory education, and refused to show up to support the bipartisan k-12 school funding bill. She did, however, make time to show up at a Montana Family Foundation rally to advocate for school privatization. 

“Montana’s students and teachers deserve a real leader at the office of public instruction,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “Elsie Arntzen has proven time and again that she is no friend to public schools or Montana’s children. In her best moments, she’s refused to show support for crucial, bipartisan legislation to fund our public education — at her worst, she’s lauded massive cuts to Montana schools, and repeatedly undermined the selfless work of Montana’s teachers. Montana deserves better, and come November, Elsie Arntzen will be out of a job.”

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