FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 13, 2020
Helena, MT – After Betsy DeVos threatened to withhold funding from school districts that won’t fully return to in-person instruction this fall, Montana students and teachers looked to Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen to stand up for them. Once again, Arntzen refused. Montana school districts have been given the leeway to open or remain closed at their own discretion, according to the needs of the communities they serve, but Arntzen refused to push back on DeVos’s threats to withhold funding from Montana schools.
Arntzen has always had a close relationship with DeVos — and her failure to stand up for Montana’s schools is par for the course in her disgraceful tenure. 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. Arntzen failed to show up for the most basic bipartisan legislation in support of public schools during the 2019 legislature, yet went so far as to appear with DeVos at an ALEC-sponsored panel last year in support of privatizing Montana’s public schools.
“Once again, Elsie Arntzen is given an opportunity to stand up for Montana students, and once again, she refuses,” said MDP Communications Director Nathan Stein. “Montana’s students and teachers deserve a real advocate in the Office of Public Instruction — not someone who sells them out to score cheap points with Washington insiders.”
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