Zinke Throws Montana Students, Teachers Under the Bus
Zinke voted to gut funding for public schools, increase tuition on Montana students
(Helena, MT) – While Montana educators gather in Missoula today to discuss the future of Montana students and public schools, Ryan Zinke has shown he will work against Montana’s students and teachers.
Ryan Zinke has a clear anti-education voting record during his time as a state senator. Zinke voted against investments in K-12 education and an increase in funding for special education programs. Also, Zinke has taken the extreme position of supporting efforts to create charter schools in Montana, which would take funding away from Montana's public schools. When it comes to higher education, Zinke voted to increase tuition on Montana students.
Zinke’s abysmal record on education lead to a 25% rating from the MEA-MFT – Montana’s largest advocacy organization for public education.
“Ryan Zinke’s anti-education record speaks for itself, but with such a failing grade from Montana teachers, it’s clear that Ryan Zinke needs to be held back,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. “Zinke's anti-education record shows he is looking out for his big money donors in Texas and California and not for Montana students and teachers."
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 ha 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]
Supports Ryan Budget that Slashes the Pell Grant Program that Aids Thousands of Students
- 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]
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]
Opposed the Budget Deal that Increased Funding for Education
- 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]