Do Montanans Allow Their Politics To Decide Their Views On This?
It seems that everything these days comes down to politics.
Case in point, I recently wrote an article about how Montana was ranked last when it came to teachers' salaries, and somehow online, that turned into a "Left" vs "Right" debate. Which then turned into an attack on the education system, and how "most Montanans home-school their kids."
Which, by the way, isn't true. We are right at about 6 percent or so when it comes to home-schooling in Montana.
My reason for the article wasn't to start a political debate, it was to let Montanans know that our teachers are underpaid. I'm a pretty conservative guy, however, when I look at the salaries for Montana teachers compared to other states, it seems like maybe we should address the problem.
Apparently, our conservative Governor agrees with me.
When Governor Gianforte was campaigning, he spoke of the need for higher salaries for Montana teachers, and in the spring of 2021, signed into law the TEACH Act. He also stated:
“This new law will help increase starting teacher pay and make it easier for tomorrow’s educators to stay in Montana or come back home”
Just so I'm clear, many of the folks that don't want anyone else moving here are also some of the same folks that don't see the need to pay our teachers more so they can remain here.
Does that seem confusing to anyone else?
In my mind, this has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with making sure the kids of Montana get the absolute best shot at a quality education. This is about making sure that Montana remains competitive with other states. If you want quality teachers, you have to pay them, it's as simple as that. Which, for some folks, is apparently a difficult concept.
While we can certainly agree to disagree on many other things, a great education for our children should be something we all agree on—and that starts with great teachers.
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