The TOUGH questions—
All candidates SAY they support education. But when it comes time to VOTE for adequate state funding for education, most Montana legislators have failed to support education time and again.
Please post these questions on your refrigerator for candidates who come knocking at your door. Ask the tough questions—listen carefully—and please vote accordingly!
Q. Do you believe quality public schools are the right of every Montana student?
A. Yes, the Montana constitution guarantees every Montana child a quality education, no matter where he or she lives.
Q. What is the connection between quality public education and our economy?
A. Quality public schools, colleges, and universities are key factors in business location decisions. They provide businesses with a skilled work force. They also provide our children the tools necessary to succeed no matter where they live – the key to their own economic success.
Q. Do you believe state funding of public schools is generally adequate, inadequate, or the best we can do right now?
A. State funding is inadequate and getting worse every legislative session. Inadequate state funding means rising property taxes for local property taxpayers. We can't wait for the economy to improve—our children can't wait—they need quality education NOW!
Q. How will you fund education since Montana's tax base is not raising enough revenue for the job?
A. There are a variety of tax reforms that will raise the money necessary to fund public education. Montana hasn't lacked the means—politicians have lacked the will. That must change.
Q. Have you signed a “no new taxes” pledge?
A. Absolutely not. It is the responsibility of the legislature and governor to fund education. It is foolish and dishonest to rule out any method of meeting that obligation.
Q. Do you believe in tuition tax credits or vouchers for private schools?
A. No. It is the state's responsibility to fund public schools. Montana cannot afford to fund two or more systems of education.
Q. Do you think Montana's university system is adequately funded?
A. No. Combined tuition and fees for Montana resident students have doubled and then tripled because the legislature isn't funding the university system adequately. Higher education is the way our children will realize their dreams. It should not be out of reach for middle-class working families. We need better state funding!
Care about education? Vote carefully!