PRESS RELEASE: Concerned Parents to Deliver Over 1,000 Letters to Office of Public Instruction
Concerned Parents to Deliver Over 1,000 Letters to Office of Public Instruction
Montanans in over 100 communities call on Superintendent Artnzen to stop advocating for the privatization of public education
(HELENA, MT) - Montanans love and support their public schools. That’s why they are so concerned when Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Artnzen uses state resources to celebrate “School Choice Week” and attends pro-school privatization forums.
"School choice" is the term that came out of focus groups funded by wealthy special interests that want to dismantle public education across America and in Montana. What "school choice" really means is "using public dollars to fund for-profit private schools." These private schools mean big checks to CEOs, but millions of dollars in wasted tax money.
“School Choice Week” was started by the far-right Gleason Family Foundation, which also funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Uncommon Charter Schools, and the radical Cato Institute.
According to the National School Choice Week website, "National School Choice Week is nonpartisan and nonpolitical, and is not related to any legislative advocacy effort." That's beyond disingenuous. The "planning partner" listed for the events here in Montana is the Montana Family Foundation.
In addition to pushing a deeply homophobic agenda, the Montana Family Foundation literally lists "legislative advocacy" as part of its mission. That advocacy includes pushing for school privatization.
Today, concerned parents will deliver over 1,000 letters from Montanans across the state to Superintendent Artnzen’s office in Helena. The letters were signed by people in at least 106 Montana communities, which demonstrates the broad and diverse opposition to the privatization of education in Montana. A list of those communities can be found below. The body of the letter reads:
Dear Superintendent of Public Instruction Arntzen:
As the head of Montana's public education system, we strongly urge you to support public education and oppose the privatization of our schools, including "school choice."
Public education is the cornerstone of every Montana community and every child is entitled to a thriving public school. Diverting public money to private for-profit institutions starves public schools of vital resources. That's why I, like most Montanans, firmly believe public funds belong in public schools, which are open to all children and accountable to the community.
Nearly 400 Montanans added additional comments to their letters.
Montana communities voicing their opposition to “school choice” (i.e. “school privatization”)