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Former superintendents of public instruction endorse Romano

Former superintendents of public instruction endorse Romano

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Letter to editor icon 3

For 28 years, we had the great honor of serving Montana as superintendents of public instruction. In that time, we increased funding for Montana’s public schools, improved graduation rates, and defended our public education system against those who would privatize it.

Unfortunately, the current officeholder, Elsie Arntzen, has spent the last four years unravelling all our past achievements — and if she gets four more years, there might not be much left to defend.

When our public schools have needed her most, she has been nowhere to be found. The last four years, she has spent more time attending private school rallies, applauding budget proposals that would cut millions from Montana’s public schools, mismanaging her office, and illegally diverting aid to private and for-profit schools.

We’ve never been able to count on Elsie to do what’s right for our children, and we certainly can’t count on her when the stakes are this high. In this critical time, we need a leader at the Office of Public Instruction who will advocate for our schools and students. That person is Melissa Romano.

Montana’s future is on the line, and Melissa Romano is the person for the job. She is an award-winning elementary math teacher and a recognized leader in her field, earning distinction in 2018 as Montana’s teacher of the year. In her 16-year career, she has worked tirelessly to create a strong foundation of skills, knowledge, and love of learning in her students both in and out of the classroom. Melissa understands what it takes at the local and statewide level to ensure all students are prepared for success and are ready for the 21st century jobs that will build Montana’s economy for the long term.

Melissa is running for state superintendent because she believes, contrary to her opponent, that every child deserves access to a quality public education, and she is determined to make sure that promise to every student is fulfilled. On day one, she will get to work implementing a public preschool option for working families, increasing mental health services in our schools, and tackling our teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

Melissa will restore competent, focused leadership to the Office of Public Instruction when leadership is desperately needed. Please join us in supporting Melissa Romano for state superintendent of public instruction.

— Denise Juneau, Montana state superintendent from 2009—2017; Linda McCulloch, Montana state superintendent from 2001—2009; Nancy Keenan, Montana state superintendent from 1989—2001

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