Feb. 14, 2017

So, did the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as our nation’s secretary of education provoke you to write a note of opposition to Senator Tester and/or Senator Daines?
 

Well, it should have.

 And so should the charter school (HB 376) and pay voucher (HB 423) bills I have listed below provoke you to email or call your legislator, especially legislators serving on the House Education Committee.
 

Folks, you can bet the Montana Family Foundation and other anti-public school organizations are already contacting legislators to support these bad bills.  They have in fact caused these primary bills of destruction to be introduced in this session. 
 

It’s not enough to protest DeVos. We must now stand up and be counted as advocates for public education where it really matters, where our public schools are most at risk, in the Montana state legislature.
 

Eric Feaver

Please contact legislators on these bad bills!

HB 376  (Windy Boy) – legal note - Establishing charter schools. To be heard in House Education February 15. Please contact members of House Education Committee. Urge them to vote NO on HB 376. You can leave a message for the whole committee here. Or call 444-4800 and ask to leave a message for the whole committee. While you're at it, ask them to vote NO on HB 423 (voucher bill -- see below)

HB 376 establishes local district charter schools, chartered through a politicized state charter commission, “not subject to the general supervision of the board of public education or the accreditation standards.”  In addition to bad public policy and a frontal assault on the board of public education and school accreditation and teacher licensure standards, HB 376 is unconstitutional.  
 

It's also completely unnecessary. Nothing prevents a local school district from working with the board of public education to establish a charter school pursuant to rule – 10.55.604.   In fact, absolutely nothing prevents a local school district from establishing innovative educational environments with or without the board of public education. 

(H)Education -- Standing Committee
Rep. FRED ANDERSON (R)
Rep. JACOB BACHMEIER (D)
Rep. BECKY BEARD (R)
Rep. BRYCE BENNETT (D)
Rep. SETH BERGLEE (R)--Chair
Rep. AMANDA CURTIS (D)
Rep. JEFF ESSMANN (R)--Vice Chair
Rep. MOFFIE FUNK (D)--Vice Chair
Rep. EDWARD GREEF (R)
Rep. GREG HERTZ (R)
Rep. JEAN PRICE (D)
Rep. CASEY SCHREINER (D)
Rep. LOLA SHELDON-GALLOWAY (R)
Rep. SCOTT STAFFANSON (R)
Rep. SUE VINTON (R)
Rep. PEGGY WEBB (R)
Rep. SUSAN WEBBER (D)


HB 385 (Berglee) – “Montana School Safety Act” empowers an school district employee with a valid concealed weapons permit to carry a concealed handgun in school.”  Ridiculous and dangerous. To be heard in House Judiciary, February 14. Please urge members of House Judiciary Committee to oppose HB 385. You can leave a message for the whole committee here. Or call 444-4800 and ask to leave a message for the whole committee.
 

(H)Judiciary -- Standing Committee
Rep. SETH BERGLEE (R)--Vice Chair
Rep. LAURIE BISHOP (D)
Rep. BOB BROWN (R)
Rep. VIRGINIA COURT (D)--Vice Chair
Rep. ALAN DOANE (R)--Chair
Rep. JENNY ECK (D)
Rep. BILL HARRIS (R)
Rep. ELLIE HILL SMITH (D)
Rep. KATHY KELKER (D)
Rep. CASEY KNUDSEN (R)
Rep. THERESA MANZELLA (R)
Rep. NATE MCCONNELL (D)
Rep. SHANE MORIGEAU (D)
Rep. DALE MORTENSEN (R)
Rep. ZAC PERRY (D)
Rep. MATT REGIER (R)
Rep. LOLA SHELDON-GALLOWAY (R)
Rep. BARRY USHER (R)
Rep. KIRK WAGONER (R)

HB 423 (Berglee) – legal note  – creates pay vouchers (a mix of state and local public school dollars) for special needs kids, 504 kids, military dependents, and all their siblings to go to any school they want anywhere in the world. 

To be heard in House Education, February 15, right along with Rep. Windy Boy’s charter school bill, HB 376. And like HB 376, it's bad public policy and unconstitutional.  Governor Bullock vetoed pretty much this same bill last session. 

Please urge House Education Committee members to oppose HB 423. You can leave a message for the whole committee here. Or call 444-4800 and ask to leave a message for the whole committee. While you're at it, ask them to vote NO on HB 376 (charter bill -- see above)