ICYMI: Former Officials Call for Change at Office of Public Instruction

Rachel Prevost2020, Arntzen, News, Republicans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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ICYMI: Former Officials Call for Change at Office of Public Instruction
 
Helena, MT – Ahead of the first debate of the race for State Superintendent, a group of educators that collectively worked for more than 160 years at the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) for five state superintendents of both political parties raised the alarm on the Arntzen administration, and called for change in November.

Missoula Current Op-Ed: Educators call for change in Office of Public Instruction, back Melissa Romano

Highlights:

We are a group of educators that collectively worked for more than 160 years at the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) for five state superintendents of both political parties. We are proud of the role that OPI has had in supporting local public schools and in providing leadership to ensure our Montana schools offer the best public education available anywhere.

The current State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen has failed to provide leadership and vision to implement coherent policies that maintain the excellence of Montana public education.

Arntzen has driven away outstanding staff who were leaders in critical areas such as Special Education, Title I and other federal programs, preschool education, curriculum development, and programs to enhance educator skills and expertise.

This exodus of critical staff has resulted in a lack of consistent leadership, confusion, and disjointed implementation of policies and programs important to local school districts.

Arntzen is not a strong advocate for public education, remaining silent on school funding during the 2019 legislative session.

She publicly promotes school privatization, potentially diminishing funding for public schools.

The OPI no longer collaborates with other state agencies that share responsibilities for programs that serve Montana’s children, such as the Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Governor’s Office, in early childhood and preschool programs, depriving local communities of much needed services.

It is critical for the State Superintendent to articulate and advocate for public education. To be a successful advocate, the Superintendent needs to identify her priorities and make her case for students, educators, and families. That is what Montanans expect, and this is what Melissa Romano will deliver.

It is time to ensure competent, focused leadership for our students and their families, teachers, administrators, board trustees, and taxpayers. Melissa Romano will lead our way back to excellence for public education in Montana. Please join us in supporting Melissa Romano for Superintendent of Public Instruction in November.

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