Zinke Pulls a Fast One: Announces Education Plan that Directly Contradicts His Record
Zinke has Record of Voting to Privatize Education, Increase Tuition Rates
(Missoula, MT) – Former super PAC chairman Ryan Zinke released an education plan laced with political rhetoric and filled with special interest handouts that make education less attainable for Montana students.
“Ryan Zinke enjoyed a Pell Grant but doesn’t think students today deserve the same opportunity. This isn’t an education plan with students in mind, it’s a political stunt with Ryan Zinke’s best interests at heart. It’s a special interest handout that undermines our student, our public schools and Montana’s future, but that’s what we have come to expect from former super PAC chairman Ryan Zinke,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.
Zinke’s announcement was protested by nearly a dozen students, teachers and local activists to hold Zinke accountable for his anti-education record.
While Zinke attempts to re-write history, his real record remains:
- 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]
Supports the Ryan Budget that Cut Funding from Research and Development Grants.
- 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]