School may be out for the summer, but education leaders joined Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh in their Washington offices to discuss a range of issues that impact Montana schools.
Tester and Walsh invited the educators - all experienced administrators from various parts of Montana - to share their views on current education policy, particularly the role of the federal government.
The Montanans who joined the Senators at today's meetings were:
* Jule Walker, Superintendent of Plevna Public Schools
* Ron Whitmoyer, Superintendent of East Helena Public Schools
* Leland Stocker, Director of Education at Havre Public Schools
* Kirk Miller, Executive Director of School Administrators of Montana, Helena
"As a former teacher, I value the suggestions and concerns that educators share with me about our public school system," said Tester, who also served as school board chairman. "The needs of Montana schools are different than those in other parts of the country. A one-size-fits-all system like the No Child Left Behind law doesn't allow Montana teachers the flexibility they need to teach the next generation."
"We share a common value in Montana - that we want better opportunities for our kids than we had," Walsh said. "Working with our school administrators, we can set our students on the path to future success, preparing them to succeed in a competitive workforce so they can live and raise their own families in Montana. The dedication of our educators and administrators helps to achieve that goal, and I am proud to work with them to strengthen Montana's schools and make sure education policies work for our communities."
Tester, Walsh and the administrators discussed the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and grant opportunities for Montana schools.