Education Montana Politics

Roy Brown’s Bold New Education Plan

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Roy Brown is committed to certainly committed to your children getting the best education. So much so that he offered this bold, specific proposal:

Roy Brown, the Republican candidate for governor, proposed Friday paying $10,000 in signing bonuses to some full-time beginning teachers, particularly in rural areas.

If approved by the Legislature, his plan would offer these bonuses, paid to teachers over three years.

How specific is the proposal? This specific:

  • Brown hasn’t settled yet on how many teachers would get the bonuses under his proposal.
  • He has not decided how the bonuses would be allocated, but one of his top priorities is to help rural schools attract new teachers.

That’s some gubernatorial leadership there. I can hear the campaign ad now:

If you vote for me, I will give some unspecified amount of money to an undefined group of teachers in non-specific geographic locations over an undetermined amount of time. I’m Roy Brown, and I approve this message.

Embarrassingly enough for the Brown campaign, the worst part of this proposal is not how vague it is, or even that they haven’t figured out the news cycle with less than two months left in the campaign. It’s that Brown doesn’t even seem to believe it will work, and with good reason:

He said this program might help keep more teachers in Montana. He cited statistics that teachers can make $10,000 to $20,000 a year more in Wyoming than in Montana.

Gimmicks like this are not the answer to the sustained funding problems of small schools, and Brown knows that. It’s just that he doesn’t have any substance to run on.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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