HB 377, which would repeal and replace Common Core in Montana, is stalled in the Senate Education Committee.
HB 377 is VITAL in taking back the control of education in Montana and placing it in the hands of parents, teachers and local school boards where it belongs. Sen. Taylor Brown (R-District 22), who is the chairman of the House Education Committee, says he needs to hear stories and experiences about Montana’s public schools. We ALL have a child, or know someone who does, that has been impacted negatively by Common Core. Sen. Brown is also under the impression that the Legislature has a very limited role in enforcing Montana public education.
Montana Code Annotated 20-1-102 states, “It is the goal of the legislature that Montana’s public elementary and secondary school system, in cooperation with parents or guardians, create a learning environment for each student …” You can read the code in its entirety HERE.
Article X of the Monana Constitution states “It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.” You can read more about education and Montana’s Constitution HERE.
Sen. Brown has argued that a past ruling of the Montana Supreme Court supports his belief that the role of the legislature is to fund public education. According to the Montana Constitution and Montana Code, this is a conflicting message. As noted above the goal of the people, which includes you, is to establish the educational system in Montana. More importantly is the fact that the legislature is to work in cooperation with parents or guardians to create a learning environment that benefits ALL students. If the legislature does not listen to us, the PARENTS, then they are violating the oath they have vowed to uphold:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Montana, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity (so help me God).”
The Montana Board of Public Education (BPE), the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and local school boards have created a divisive educational environment that excluded parents with the adoption and implementation of the copyrighted Common Core State Standards Initiative. We cannot stand by and allow our elected legislators to do the same.
The fiscal note for HB 377 states “Typically, when the OPI undertakes a process for recommending revisions to accreditation standards to the BPE, the agency convenes a work group to develop the recommendations … These working meetings have not been closed to the public, but OPI has not consistently announced the meetings online nor put out press releases about the work group meetings.” You can find the rest of the fiscal note HERE.
Friends it is time to speak up TODAY. This bill NEEDS to be heard on the Senate floor. The only way this will happen is if YOU take immediate action.
First, pray that members of the Senate Education Committee would take a stand for parents and children in Montana. Pray that Sen. Taylor Brown, as the chairman of the committee, would take a strong stand for students, parents and teachers in Montana.
1. E-mail Sen. Taylor Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him YOUR personal story about how Common Core has negatively impacted your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. Your story matters. Demand that Sen. Brown move forward with a vote of HB 377. Students, parents and teachers deserve a Montana solution with better educational standards than the federally created and funded Common Core.
2. Copy Sen. Llew Jones at email@example.com via e-mail with your personal story. Sen. Jones has worked with public schools in the past through his former computer technology company Jathco. We need to ask Sen. Jones to stand on our behalf as well.
3. Call 406-444-4800. Tell the operator you need to leave a message for each member of the SENATE Education Committee. The message is for each senator to vote YES on HB 377.
4. Forward this e-mail on to everyone you know. Encourage them to take the action steps mentioned above.
You can read HB 377 here.
It would be a travesty for this bill to die in the Senate Education Committee. You must act immediately. The longer this bill sits in committee the less likely it will pass out of committee and be ignored by our legislators. If we all take five minutes out of our day to pressure these senators, we can work to ensure this bill makes it to the senate floor. HB 377 deserves a vote by the senators who have been elected by the people of Montana. ACT TODAY!