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Education Montana Politics

Governor Schweitzer Outflanks the Republicans Again: Their Hypocrisy on Education Exposed

The Republican champions of the oil and gas industry reacted predictably to Governor Schweitzer’s proposal to add a small surtax on oil and gas production to increase salaries for Montana teachers:

House Minority Leader Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, said Schweitzer’s proposal "is definitely a tax increase on the producers of oil and gas." "He’s not living up to his word, that’s for darn sure," Sales said. "If he really wants to shut down the oil and gas industry in this state, that would be a good first step.

It turns out that Republicans are doing what they have always done on education issues in Montana: rhetorically supporting higher salaries for teachers and increased funding for education, but failing to either propose or write any legislation to actually get it done. As Left in the West notes, a large number of Republicans say they support increased funding for teacher salaries and using natural resource development to pay for it, but they haven’t proposed anything to actually make it happen.

So, Dave Lewis of Helena, how do you propose “funding increase to teacher salaries”? What about you, Senator Brown?

Governor Schweitzer is absolutely right. If Republicans who claim to be serious about supporting education don’t support his proposal, they should submit one of their own, instead of continuing to use our schools for political gain.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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