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Education Montana Politics

The Paid Right Wing Noise Machine Defends Sarah Laszloffy’s Plan to Privatize Education

That was quick. In the wake of an embarrasing profile of House Education chair Sarah Laszloffy, in which she falsely claimed that education makes up 60% of the state budget (not the 15% it actually does), one of the state’s corporate-funded faux media organizations ran a defense of her  suggesting that those criticizing Laszloffy’s choice were nothing more than union thugs who hate Christianity.

Personally, other than some hard feelings about tense moments in the Billing Central gym as a fan from Laurel High School when I was young, I have absolutely no problem with the idea of private schools—as long as those schools are funded privately, as they should be, and as Montana’s Constitution demands.  I recognize that not every student is best served by the local school in her community, and that’s why Montana has already developed alternatives, ranging from alternative high schools to a fully digital academy that provides all sorts of opportunities for students at an incredibly low cost to the state. And Montana’s larger cities have already shown they can sustain a small network of private schools for parents and students who choose that option.

And I’m quite certain that the MEA-MFT’s opposition is not rooted in opposition to the Christian faith. That’s an absurd canard, meant to distract from the fact that the MEA-MFT (and, I suspect, most Montanans) absolutely don’t want to see their public schools see reduced funding to pay for religious instruction, instruction that would necessarily have to cover any religious instruction, no matter how violent or dangerous just as it would Billings Central or the Petra Academy in Bozeman. Once religious instruction is priviledged with these kinds of tax credits, the Constitution certainly won’t permit discrimination—and I look forward to Ms. Laszloffy explaining to her constituents why tax dollars went to the School of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. And I don’t look forward to a time when someone who can’t tell the difference between 60% and 15% can teach Math at Laszloffy High School in Laurel using tax dollars.

The real issue, of course, is that Laszloffy is eminently unqualified to serve as the chair of the House Education Committee—and the people who appointed her to that seat certainly must know that. Her age doesn’t disqualify her from leading the Committee, but her lack of experience and knowledge almost certainly do—and it’’s troubling to see the House Leadership appoint someone to this position to advance an agenda that will be detrimental to Montana schools.

What these so-called advocates of “school choice” refuse to acknowledge, other than basic math, is that Montana schools are doing an excellent job, despite Republican efforts to reduce funding and prevent access to early-child education, which is critical. Schemes like privatization and tax transfers won’t improve educational outcomes at all, but offer nothing more than a chance for some adults to get rich and score political points at the expense of children.

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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  • Ah come ON, inbred Pubes! Do you REALLY have to import sh*t from texASS to defend you morons? The inbred idiot who wrote the defense of Sarah Laffloopy is from…..wait for it……wait for it….. TEXass! I mean, the Pube party is really freakin’ pathetic! They have to IMPORT all these inbred christofundiwackmentalist wackos to Montana to have a friggin’ platform to run on! I mean, this phil rolen dude, SUCKED off Unca Sugartit his entire life in the……wait for it….wait for it…. MILITARY! And now, as a result of his suckling offn’ the gummint tit, he’s moved ON to suck offn’ the GOD tit! What a pathetic piece of caca! He should’a stayed his sorry ass in texASS where they LUVS them some Cracker Jaysus and inbred military suckees! Check it out. And sh*t, where ELSE would this bugnuts work than for Dopey Reeburp! Sad, so sad. Time for REAL Montanans to rise to the challenge and save our beautiful state from all the inbred southern wackos moving UP here! We need IMMIGRATI0N reform! No more inbreds from down south! And really, when we finally get a surfeit of inbreds like Birther Bob, Ms. Uncle Fester/fiddler, military suckeee texASS inbred moron, doncha think REAL Montanans will finally find their voice? texASS has NOTHING in common with our beloved Montana!

  • The Assman Weepeth! Jabba the Assman can NOT be pleased! His royal corpulence does NOT take lightly to his underlings underLINGing his royal lardassiness! His holy abdominence was counting his tea leaves bee FORE they were drunk! And now, just look what’s happened to his inbred caucus! Too funny.

  • When will ms. Laffloopy get GUNS in the schools for us? Doesn’t she get it? Cracker Jesus WANTS us to protect the chillum from evil liebruls, atheists, and evilutionists! Fire power from a higher power is the only way to create a secure larnin’ environment for the kiddies! I’m sure that they had plenty of guns at the Bethel Buybull Skuul of Holy Moly Secret Stuff where she attended! Now, if she REALLY wanted to silence all her detractors, maybe she could grab the local obits and BRING one of them unfortunate dead suckers back to life! Her position as chairperson would be unassailable! Heck, maybe should could bring one back who could do the MATH for her so that next time she doesn’t look like a buffoon! Fifteen percent, fifty percent, what’s the big difference? They both start with “f”! Close enough for god’s work!

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