Ryan Zinke Attempts to Re-Write History: Fact Checking Zinke’s Real Record on Education
Zinke puts Montana students on back burner, caters to out-of-state special interests
(Helena, MT) –Former Super PAC chairman Ryan Zinke is once again failing to hold himself accountable to his own record on education. In a new revision of history according to Zinke, he stated, “Nobody fought harder for education funding than me.”
His record shows quite the contrary.
Unfortunately for Zinke, his public record in the Montana legislature is clear as day: he voted time and again to undermine Montana students and public education, which is why Montanans protested his Missoula office last week.
“One thing missing from Zinke’s education plan is a focus on history, which he clearly needs to brush up on. Claiming to be an education hero after receiving a failing grade from Montana teachers is one of his biggest whoppers, yet. Ryan Zinke’s anti-education record speaks for itself and it shows that he’ll sell-out Montana students for his special interest and super PAC pals,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.
Anti-Education Record in the State legislature
- Zinke Voted for a State Budget that Cut $12 Million From K-12 Schools. In 2011, Zinke voted for the state biennium budget that provided approximately $12 million less in state support for K-12 schools than what was recommended in Governor Schweitzer’s budget. [HB 2, 4/28/14; Montana Budget & Policy Center, 7/01/11]
- Zinke Voted Against Increasing Funding for Montana K-12 Schools. In 2011, as state senator, Zinke voted against an amendment that would have increased K-12 base aid and provided for an inflationary increase for special education failed 23-27. [MEA-MEFT 2011 Voting Record]
- Zinke Voted Against $15 Million for the Montana University System. In 2011, as state senator, Zinke voted against an amendment that would have provided $15 million in additional funding to the Montana University System to be distributed directly to campuses. [MEA-MEFT 2011 Voting Record]
- Zinke Voted for a State Budget that Increased College Tuition Rates to Address Budget Shortfalls. In 2011, Zinke voted for the state biennium budget that included $14 million less in funding for the higher education than Governor Schweitzer’s proposed budget. Tuition rates had to be increased by 10% in order to address the shortfalls. [HB 2, 4/28/14; Montana Budget & Policy Center, 7/01/11]
- Received a 25% Rating from MEA-MFT. In 2011, Zinke received a 25% rating from MEA-MFT, the largest education advocacy group in Montana. [MEA-MEFT 2011 Voting Record]
- Zinke Supports Slashing Pell Grants By $125 Billion. Ryan Zinke supported the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan that cut $125 billion from Pell Grants, a financial aid program benefitting 9.4 million students including 1,700 Montana students. [US Congressional GOP Debate, 5/28/14; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/01/14]
- Zinke Supports Restricting Eligibility for Pell Grants. Zinke supports the House budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan that would roll back recent expansions to the Pell Grant program, eliminate eligibility for less-than-half-time students and end administrative payments to participating colleges. [US Congressional GOP Debate, 5/28/14; Chronicle of Higher Education,4/01/14]
- Zinke Opposed $250 Million in Grants to Expand Preschool Programs.In 2014, Zinke said he opposed the Ryan-Murray Budget deal that restored cuts caused by sequestration by providing $8.6 billion for Head Start, a $1.025 billion increase. Within that funding is $500 million for Early Head Start and $250 million in grants to expand preschool programs. [Voice of Montana, 12/11/13; House Appropriations Committee, Labor, Health, Human Services and Education, 1/13/14, Washington Post, 1/13/14]
- Zinke Opposed $2.3 Billion in Funding for Child Care and Development Block Grant Program. In 2014, Zinke said he opposed the Ryan-Murray Budget deal that provided $2.3 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program. [HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14; House Appropriations Committee, Labor, Health, Human Services and Education, 1/13/14]
- Zinke opposed millions in increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education. Zinke opposed the Ryan-Murray budget deal that increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education by $18 million. [Voice of Montana, 12/11/13; HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14; House Appropriations Committee, Interior & Environment Appropriations, 1/13/14]
- Zinke Supported Cuts to Research and Development. Zinke supports the House budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan that cuts funding for technological research and development. [US Congressional GOP Debate, 5/28/14; American Progress, 4/09/14]