2013: A Turning Point for MT School Choice

March 28, 2013

For Montanans, the Obama years are shaping up as the era the time Montana finally joined the rest of the states, at least 44 of them, in enacting  alternative school legislation; meaning, bills that allow for support of charter schools, school choice, home-schooling, or school vouchers.
This year, for the first time, advocates managed to get a school choice bill through the House Chamber. The hold-up has been conveniently  attributed to the teacher unions. According to published reports, no Democrat has cast a vote for any school-choice bill, in committee or on the floor. Denise Juneau, Montana’s state superintendent of schools and a Democrat, says she simply doesn’t believe that public money should be used in any way to promote or assist private schools.

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Politics may be little more than a convenient excuse. Education for all has a long and proud tradition in Montana. It is only in recent years that state college expenses have soared beyond the average budget. Also, only within recent years has politics reared its ugly head in the schools. Substantial sizzle was added to the issue when leftist doctrine was flagrantly infused into the public schools. The Helena school system, fitting and in particular, has become known as an instrument of political and moral change, some of that change repulsive to a great many Montana parents. One parent summed it up, “My child might turn out gay, but I sure do not need his second grade teacher encouraging it, much less requiring it.” Democrats consider such a point of view outmoded and mean spirited.

Political initiatives in the schools skyrocketed with the election of left wing “change agent,” Barack Obama and accelerated with Obama’s heady re-election.
Around this time, 2010, that the Montana Family Foundation, (President Jeff Laszloffy,) The Friedman Foundation for school choice, and a host of school choice advocates entered the fray. Whether this is the “hope and change” Barack Obama had in mind for Montana, this is what is happening.
In conclusion, what began in response to requests by a few high tech employers in the state for better qualified graduates, suggesting initiatives that probably would have had limited impact on Montanans daily lives, suddenly ignited into a full scale campaign by The Montana Democratic Party to seize full control of the public school system, its procedures and its policies, with air support provided by The United States Department of Education.
Some might take issue with this rhetoric, but no one can deny the broad resistance on the parts of conservatives vehemently opposing the Obama agenda is gaining support across the state.

(Pictured Above Right, US President Barack Obama has special plans for Montana, her children, and the Montana Democrats.)

 

(2013 John Marks. Special to The Montana Conservative)

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