Governor Steve Bullock is proposing an average tax break of over $7,000 a year for every Montana family. How you say? Through his proposal for public preschool. On average the cost of childcare for a four-year-old in Montana is over $7,000 or about 13% of an average Montana family’s income.
Bullock’s pre-k proposal (HB 563) that is carried by Billings Rep. Kathy Kelker is a modest $12 million towards a preschool grant program that will provide funds to local school districts, Head Starts, and existing preschool providers. This will increase access for children and families all across Montana. The program is completely voluntary and gives local control to each school district to design their own programs.
Not only are children with access to early education more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school, they are less likely to repeat a grade or need special education. They are also less likely to become teenage parents, abuse drugs, or wind up in jail. Shoot, that solves the healthcare, meth abuse, and county jail funding issues all in one swing.
Business leaders all across Montana are lining up behind this proposal. Its estimated that communities will see a $7 return on every $1 invested into early education through local savings and increased economic activity.
With Elsie Antzen and Betsey DeVos at the helm of our public schools, Montana’s children need all the early help they can get before their education system is defunded and ripped away from them. Not to mention, if the decade long Bozeman Bromance of Gianforte and Daines continues to blossom in Congress, the reckless privatization agenda by the GOP will become reality.
Let’s not play politics with Montana’s children or our economic future. Call your legislators today and tell them to invest in Montana’s future,406-444-4800. Or, my own favorite, find your legislator’s public information online, which includes personal emails (Oh GOSH!), on the Montana Legislative District MAP.
If you can make it, the Governor is also having a Rally for Montana’s Future Superheroes on the capitol steps this Friday March 17, 2017 at 12:00. Bring your kids and dress as a superhero if you want.