From Big Sky 55+:
Providing Quality Education for All
Early Childhood through Higher Adult Education
“(1) It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.” (Montana Constitution, Part X, Education and Public Lands Section 1)
As seniors, we recognize that a quality public educational system from early childhood through higher education, with adequate funding, is necessary for building strong families, strong communities, and our state. Educational achievement opens doors and increases opportunities for success and helps level the playing field. We need to prepare all students to succeed in the new global economic systems and help them build our state.
Because of funding cuts by the state, we have seen an unfair shift in responsibility in K-12 school funding from the state to local taxpayers who are being asked to support our schools with additional revenues to meet basic school operational needs. Big Sky 55+ recognizes:
1.A strong public-school system from early childhood through adult/higher education that provides all children, regardless of gender, race, economic status, and those with special needs with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to participate equally in our economic systems.
2.We need to eliminate the educational disparities and inequities in our educational achievement, including children in poverty, minorities, and children with special needs.
3.Educators must be provided with wages that are equitable to other professions, including the benefits that will enable our teachers to have economic security.
4.Post-secondary education is vital for economic family security and we must make college and vocational training accessible and affordable for all students including:
•Tuition-free programs to provide “access for all” regardless of economic status.
•Stop burdening students with mountains of debt.
•Alternative Post-Secondary public education strategies – Internships, online, etc.
Big Sky 55+ will:
•Support school funding to meet our constitutional responsibilities for all public schools both rural and urban, regardless of zip code.
•Support efforts and funding to reduce disparities in school achievement.
•Support efforts in reducing the costs of higher education, reduce student debt, and seek tuition free options to allow access for all students.
•Support our teachers in quality pay and benefits.
•Support state funding for tribal colleges.
•Support the 6-mill levy campaign for higher education, I-128.
Big Sky 55+
PO Box 1663
Helena, MT 59624