Efforts To Privatize Education

Greg Gianforte spearheaded the school privatization movement in Montana that would take away money from our public schools and put it towards private schools, even financing operations that seek to do just that.

Gianforte made it a priority for his financially backed Montana Family Foundation to lobby for legislation, organize conferences and politically back candidates to push policies that will use our tax dollars for private and religious schools while defunding public schools.

Greg Gianforte’s agenda is wrong for Montana schools.

  • GIANFORTE LED THE CHARGE TO USE TAX DOLLARS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS. The Gianforte Family Charitable Trust is one of Montana Family Foundation’s largest donors and Gianforte asked the Foundation to lobby for bills that use public tax dollars for private schools. According to the Billings Gazette, the Montana Family Foundation “spearheaded the school-choice movement in Montana, lobbying the issue at the Legislature, organizing school-choice conferences and throwing its political support behind candidates for school choice.” (Billings Gazette, 3/18/13; Montana Family Foundation lobbying disclosures: 4/16/15; 4/15/13; 5/27/11; 4/14/09)
  • BACKED DC-WRITTEN LEGISLATION THAT WOULD TAKE MONEY FROM MONTANA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Since 2009, the Gianforte-backed Montana Family Foundation has lobbied for legislation that would create tax credits for private school tuition and use public tax dollars to build private and religious schools. In 2013, the Montana Family Foundation lobbied for legislation written by a Washington D.C. interest group that would create public charter schools with money taken from Montana’s K-12 public schools.(HB 315; Montana Family Foundation lobbying disclosures: 4/16/15; 4/15/13; 5/27/11; 4/14/09); Billings Gazette, 2/11/13)
  • FUNDED OUTSIDE INTEREST GROUPS THAT ADVOCATE FOR SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION. Since 2008, Gianforte has given $143,000 to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity that advocate to take money from public schools and put it toward private schools. (Gianforte Family Charitable Trust IRS 990 via GuidetStar.org; Americans for Prosperity, accessed 6/17/15; Heritage.org8/30/10; Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, accessed 6/30/15; Montana Budget & Policy Center, February 2015)

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