Montana educators have an abundance of reasons to support Sen. Jon Tester’s bid for re-election. Tester’s record shows that he has long been a champion for education, for veterans, and for Montana workers.
As a former public school elementary music teacher, Sen. Tester has a clear understanding of what Montana’s students and educators need to be successful. He knows the unique challenges facing public schools in rural areas, which include funding, teacher retention, and lack of broadband internet access.
Tester has used his years of experience in education to be a leader on issues that matter to educators, students, and all public employees. Sen. Tester, who is also a working farmer, has earned the enthusiastic support of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, made up of 25,000 public employee members, including 18,000 professional and classified public school employees. Here are a few of the reasons why:
- Tester has been a leader in advocating for the recruitment and retention of teachers in rural Montana and Indian country, with a focus on special education
- He was outspoken in urging Senate leadership to work to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers more than 9 million children across the country
- Tester, a strong supporter of workers’ rights, vocally opposed the Janus Supreme Court decision that weakened unions in an effort to undermine collective bargaining
- Tester voted against the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
Sen. Tester’s priorities stand in marked contrast to those of his opponent in this election, state Auditor Matt Rosendale.
As a member of the Montana legislature from 2011-2015, Rosendale repeatedly worked against public education and working families. Rosendale voted to:
- Create publicly funded privately managed charter schools, which pull money from public schools and often lack even basic accountability to taxpayers
- Institute a variety of voucher schemes, which siphon resources away from public schools to private schools
- Cut constitutionally mandated k-12 school funding and public school pre-k education
- Terminate defined benefit pensions for educators and other public employees, which would have diminished their retirement security.
“No one should think for a nanosecond Matt Rosendale would serve our state any differently should he be elected to the U.S. Senate,” said Eric Feaver, a former English and social studies teacher who serves as president of the Montana Federation of Public Employees.
Feaver regularly refers to Sen. Tester as “a champion for public education and workers.”
“Senator Tester is right on labor, right on public education, right on health care, right on adequate and fair taxation, right on veterans, right on public access to public lands, right for Montana,” Feaver told the Missoula Current.
Find out more about Sen. Tester.