MFPE Condemns Candidacy of Elsie Arntzen for Superintendent of Public Instruction

September 8, 2020 / Comments (0)


Arntzen on a panel promoting school privatization put on by American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

The MFPE board of directors unanimously adopted the following new business item condemning the candidacy of Elsie Arntzen for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

New Business Item #2

Action: Condemn Candidacy of Elsie Arntzen for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Rationale:  Elzie Arntzen has never proven herself to be an advocate for public education or public employees.

As Superintendent of Public Instruction during the 2019 Legislature, Elsie:

  • Failed to oppose HB 303 to end compulsory education.
  • Refused to support HB 225, the governor’s k-12 school funding bill. She especially opposed his proposal to begin state funding of prek public education.
  • Failed to testify in support of HB 159, the Republican leadership’s k-12 school funding bill.
  • Failed to oppose HB 755 that would in part privatize state funded prek.
  • Spoke in favor of school privatization at a Montana Family Foundation sponsored school “choice” rally.
  • Failed to support HB 211 that establishes new hire school loan repayment of up to $12,000 over three years of successful employment.
  • Failed to support HB 351 that provides state funded incentives for school districts to implement “transformational” learning.
  • Failed to say anything about HB 387 that expands personalized opportunities for students to accelerate career and college readiness.
  • Said nothing about HB 638 that inflates k-12 special education funding for the biennium.
  • And said nothing about SB 92 that provides greater local school district funding capacity to address student health issues and school safety.

Cycling back to her legislative career, in 2015 – As a member of the Montana Senate, Elsie

  • Voted YES on HB 322 providing local and state revenue vouchers for certain kids to enroll in private and sectarian schools almost anywhere.
  • Voted NO on SB 12 providing state funding of 19 year olds who maintain high school enrollment.
  • Voted YES for SB 410 establishing income tax credits funding student scholarship organizations to create scholarships for kids attending private, unaccredited schools.

In 2013 – As a member of the Montana Senate. Elsie

  • Voted YES on HB 213 creating taxpayer funded tuition tax credits for private and sectarian education.
  • Voted NO on SB 14 providing ANB funding for students 19 years of age.
  • Voted YES on SB 81 providing tax credits to student scholarship organizations to reward scholarships to kids attending private, sectarian, and unaccredited schools.
  • Voted YES on SB 406 terminating TRS and PERS defined pension benefit plans.

In 2011 – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted NO on an amendment to HB 2 retaining state funding for the Montana State Veterans Home, killing an effort to privatize that iconic facility.
  • Voted NO on a motion blasting HB 13, the state employee pay plan out of committee.
  • Voted NO on HB 189 amortizing Montana Teachers Retirement System.
  • Voted NO on HB 439 bonding capital construction around the state including in the Montana University System and the Montana Historical Society.
  • Voted YES on SB 315 redefining good cause and due process in teacher tenure statutes.

In 2009 – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted YES on various amendments to HB 2 cutting state funding of Higher Education Student Assistance, Office of Public Instruction, Montana, Board of Public Education, and Department of Corrections.
  • Voted YES on a motion blasting HB 624 to make Montana a “right-to-work” state out of committee.
  • Voted YES on HR3 – a resolution endorsing secession from the Union.

In 2007 regular session – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted NO on HB 2 – state funding bill – precipitating a special legislative session.
  • Voted YES on HB 492 to apply a “tip credit” to Montana minimum wage law.
  • Voted YES on HB 701 cutting Montana property taxes dedicated to public school funding and eliminating the quality educator payment.

In 2007 special session – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted NO on HB 2 to fund state government.

In 2005 regular session – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted NO on HB 2 funding state government.
  • Voted NO on HB 124 (k-12 SHIP) creating a statewide school employee health care pool.
  • Voted YES on HB 404 permitting anyone to teach for free.
  • Voted NO on HB 447 providing state employee salary increases of 4% and 3.5% over the 2007 biennium.
  • Voted NO on SB 78 increasing $5.15 Montana minimum wage 30 cents in 2005 and 35 cents in 2006.

2005 special session – as a member of the Montana House, Elsie

  • Voted NO on HB 1 funding a new k-12 public school formula featuring dollars for quality educators, Indian Education for All, Indian achievement, and at-risk students.

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