Plenty might be at stake for Montana school kids and teachers, college students and college personnel on this yr’s race for governor.
Each primary birthday party applicants, incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte, speak passionately about schooling. Both have taken concrete moves to promote schooling and praised Montana’s public faculties.
But they’ve very one-of-a-kind visions and priorities for training.
“I maintain to firmly consider that our public education device is the exquisite equalizer,” Bullock said in Bozeman on the first day of school, the use of a word he has frequently repeated. “Everybody who says public colleges have failed isn’t seeing what’s occurring.”
Gianforte, 56, a Bozeman entrepreneur, says in Montana, “We’ve got awesome schools, and even extra instructors. But we will and must do greater.”
Bullock, 50, has been a robust supporter of public colleges and the university device’s priorities in his first time period. He counts amongst his accomplishments “document investments in public schooling” and “record results,” inclusive of an all-time high 86 percent high college graduation price.
For Montana college students, Bullock has supported lessons freezes for the beyond four years, made possible with the aid of a three-way deal with lawmakers and the Board of Regents. The governor additionally supported the first $15 million nation funding for scientific research, which the 2015 Legislature passed and from which Montana nation university scientists gained $nine million in competitive offers.
Gianforte bought his software program start-up RightNow Technology in 2011 to excessive-tech massive Oracle for $1.five billion. He is board chairman and essential funder of a non-public college, Petra Academy in Bozeman, which offers a Christian and classical education.
A supporter of faculty choice, Gianforte and his own family foundation donated almost $five million to create ACE Scholarships Montana, that have helped 750 low- and middle-income students attend personal colleges when public schools weren’t operating for them.
“In schooling, as in enterprise, one length does not in shape all,” Gianforte stated in saying the ACE donation. “Competition improves anyone’s overall performance.”
Gianforte has additionally been generous to Bozeman’s public college. His family foundation currently pledged $eight million to Montana nation college, which renamed its laptop science branch the Gianforte college of Computing and could call a brand new auditorium in his honor. That pledge comes on pinnacle of nearly $2 million the Gianfortes have given over the years to MSU’s computer science department. He acquired an honorary doctorate from MSU in 2007.
“A strong education device is important to Montana’s economic future.” Gianforte says on his campaign website. “Let’s create extra excessive salary jobs so our youngsters don’t stay our most valuable export.”
Horrifying preference, painful preference
“Scary” is the phrase Eric Feaver uses for Gianforte. Feaver is president of Montana’s largest union, the MEA-MFT, representing 18,000 instructors and different public personnel. MEA has endorsed Bullock.
“Painful” is how country Sen. Kris Hansen feels about a Bullock re-election. Hansen, a Republican from Havre, is a Senate education committee member and previous chair of the House training Committee.
Feaver said he feels Gianforte is Scary due to the fact the Republican is a “millionaire entrepreneur and theocrat” who “believes our ancestors hunted dinosaurs” and intends to privatize public education and assault public worker unions with right-to-paintings laws.
“I assume if (Gianforte) is elected we might see a frontal assault on public worker unions, we’d see voucher and constitution bills, and an assault on instructor retirement — he said Noah didn’t retire, work until you die,” Feaver said.