Montana Teachers of the Year and Legislators Slam Gianforte's 'Dangerous' Education Agenda

Educators Highlight Gianforte's Out-of-Touch Views of Public Schools

Montana teachers, including two Teachers of the Year, have a strong new warning for all Montanans: Greg Gianforte's agenda is a threat to all who benefit from public education.

Standing near the headquarters of Montana's largest school district, 2013 Montana Teacher of the Year Eileen Sheehy, Representative Kathy Kelker, and Teacher of the Year Mary Sheehy Moe, took the New Jersey multimillionaire to task for threatening "the future of our public education and the opportunities it creates for our kids."

"As a teacher, I've seen first hand how important a good public education is to all students across our state," said Eileen Sheehy, a recently retired teacher at Billings West High School. "But Gianforte has a very different vision for our public education.  Greg Gianforte's dangerous agenda will hurt our public schools and students."

The teachers noted Gianforte’s Petra Academy, a private school which he serves as chairman, called public schools “a failed experiment” in a newsletter.

"Montana's public education is not a failed experiment," said Senator Mary Sheehy Moe. "The students who have went on to do great things, like become Governor of our state, would tell you they don't think it's a failed experiment. Gianforte's comments and actions on education are clear. His dangerous plan for Montana is a threat to our public education system."

Earlier this year educators criticized Gianforte’s controversial tax plan, which would take away $33 million from local schools to give tax breaks that benefit the wealthy and out-of-state corporations. 
"One of my biggest concerns is Mr. Gianforte's own tax plan, which would slash funds from our public schools in order to benefit, well, not Montanans," said Representative Kathy Kelker. "As a legislator, I won't stand for that. And as a Montanan I won't stand for that."

In a 2012 interview with KMMS radio, Gianforte called public schools “a monopoly,” further claiming that they do not produce the best product.

The Montana Democratic Party today released a document comparing the public education records of both Gianforte and Steve Bullock.  The document is online here.
See a short clip of the event here.

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