Elsie Arntezen in Race for Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction
Montana Senator Elsie Arntzen of Billings announced today, June 23, that she is running to replace Denise Juneau as the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Arntzen is the only Republican in the race so far, and joins Democrat Melissa Romano who entered the race early this year. Arntzen says she will be focused on service and a transition to local control.
"What I'm going to be doing is putting trust back into our local control," Arntzen said. "In other words, saying that OPI trusts what schools are doing. There is going to be less reporting. We are not going to second guess, because someone in Helena can't second guess what someone knows best sitting in their classroom in a community somewhere in Montana."
On the issue of local control, Arntzen pointed to the recent difficulties experienced by many Montana communities in handling the Smarter Balance Common core test.
"Teachers know best," Arntzen said. "This is about allowing the teachers in the classroom to put that one single child one step further into success. Montana got into the full smarter balance and it's a fiasco right now. It got over reached. OPI is a pastor from the federal government."
Both Arntzen and her Democratic opponent have a history in the classroom. Artzen taught at the elementary level for 23 years and Romano is a kindergarten teacher.