Here’s How Rick Hill Would Spend Your Tax Dollars

Rick Hill is emphasizing his plan to spend your tax dollars to subsidize private schools as part of his campaign for governor.

Here’s a look at the kind of school you would be paying for if Rick Hill were elected.

Stillwater Christian School is the only private K-12 school in the Flathead valley.  The school says it is “thoroughly committed to the Word of God, upholding Christian principles and ideals.” But a visit to the schools website shows a commitment to academic standards is somewhat lacking.

It’s not surprising that the school is not accredited by the Montana Board of Education.  The school instructs students to use a site called “Conservapedia” for research.  Stillwater recommends a Conservapedia article on Ernest Hemingway that tells us that the most important facts about Hemingway are that he was an alcoholic who was investigated for suspicion of communist activities by J. Edgar Hoover before committing suicide.

The site is full of doozies.  Conservapedia  also explains that Einstein’s theory of relativity is:

a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.”

Local Tea Partiers are well-connected to Stillwater Christian.   Billionaire Ray Thompson, a who bankrolls the national TEA Party movement, is on the board of the private school.  As Mother Jones reported:

“Thompson is also active in Montana politics, where he has supported one of the tea party’s most radical candidates, Derek Skees, who’s running for a seat in the Montana house. Skees, who showed up at a Memorial Day parade this summer wearing a jacket emblazoned with a Confederate flag, and has been connected to anti-Semitic and militia activity, is a tea party purist. He has advocated nullifying federal health care laws, refusing federal stimulus money, and shutting down many of the state’s school districts and giving kids vouchers to help cut the budget by letting the private sector fill the gap.”

There are other connections.  A relative of TEA Party GOP legislator Mark Blasdel works at the school.  And when the school decided to auction off a semi-automatic assault rifle as a school fundraiser, they turned to the NEMO rifle plant.  Family members of Rick Hill’s running mate Jon Sonju are NEMO company executives.

Tickets for the assault rifle are $25 each or 5 for $100. If you don’t get a chance to bid on  the assault rifle, you can also attend the schools “Stillwater Shootout”  fundraising event.

For some reason, the “Stillwater Shootout” is not being held on the school’s campus.   We know the TEA Party are big fans of guns in schools. So much so that local TEA Party legislators Jerry O’Neil and Derek Skees sponsored a bill last session to allow guns in public schools.  It was one of the infamous “nutjob bills” of the 2011 session.

This private school also gets involved in elections.  School leaders sent out an email before the primary urging votes against non-TEA Party candidates, so watch for them to send out something on behalf of Hill soon.

If you want your tax dollars to be spent on bringing up the next generation of uninformed TEA Partiers, Rick Hill is your man.



49 Comments on "Here’s How Rick Hill Would Spend Your Tax Dollars"

  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 2, 2012 12:37 PM at 12:37 PM |

    “We need tension in the system to push toward excellence,” he says (referring to education)

    What a freakin’ DILDO of a man! What in the hell is THAT supposed to mean? Come ON, Montana. Like Samuel Jackson says, WAKE THE F*CK UP!

  2. I love how he tries to deceive people by saying he supports “public charter schools” What a crock. These are just the new GOP buzzword for private schools that get your tax dollars on other states.

    • Yvette, I invite to read what Bill Gates said about charter schools:

      une 29, 2010
      Remarks by Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee

      Well thank you Nelson for all your great leadership over the last five years. I’m excited to be here. I’m a big believer in the work you do. When I was trying to picture the audience and what it would be like I decided, “Well, you’re involved in charters,” and I tried to imagine that everybody here was like Don Shalvey. Don is a pioneer of the movement and now he’s part of the brain trust at our foundation. So, you know, if you’re like him I was confident we’d connect through our mutual admiration. But then I realized it would be pretty unusual to have 4,000 Don Shalvey ’s all together. The room might just explode with all the energy. So there’s only one that I should say, “Thank you Don for everything you’ve done to help students seize their opportunities.”

      This whole movement is making great progress. You should feel great about your dedication to innovation that helps young people achieve their opportunity. Our foundation admires the work you do. We’ve made the primary focus of our education’s work here in the United States helping with education. And it’s a big challenge but a very, very important challenge.

      When I speak about our foundation’s work in education one of the questions I get all the time and sometimes even in sort of an excusatory tone is, “Is it true that you support charter schools?” Well, I love that question because I like to answer, “Yes. We are guilty as charged.”

      I’ve had a chance to visit a number of charter schools. One of the most memorable visits was a few years ago in Houston, Texas where Melinda and I got to see both KIP and YES work there. And we were amazed by what we saw. We agreed those schools were good enough that we’d feel great sending our kids to those schools as much as any school private or public in the country.

      The results that high performing charters like KIP and YES are getting are astounding; especially when you compare them to the schools nearby. The graduation rate in Houston Independent School District is under 70% but at these charter schools over 95% graduate and over 90% go on to four-year college.

      Sitting in the KIP classroom and YES classroom showed me that the statistics alone don’t capture the magic of what’s going on. The atmosphere was totally different than what I’d experienced in my high school years or in any classroom I’d been in. The teacher was constantly on the move—scanning the room for students who weren’t engaged. He was finding creative ways to get everyone to participate. There was a very high level of energy. At times I felt like I was in a pep rally instead of in a math class. At the end of the day I asked one of the teachers what they liked about their work. And he said the key thing was that by teaching there he could be sure his students had…all teachers were effective…all teachers cared about that student and in the future grades, particularly there, where there was a charter high school that throughout their education everything that that teacher worked on would be reinforced and so that his hard work would end up making a difference in those students lives. It’s seeing examples like that that reinforce the essential role that you’re playing and make us want to allow all students to have an experience of that quality.

      Charter schools are especially important right now because they are the only schools that have the full opportunity to innovate. The way we educate students in this country hasn’t changed in generations and it isn’t meeting the needs of today’s fast changing society. A college degree is now almost a requirement for most well paying jobs and yet a third of students never graduate from high school and half of those who do graduate have to go on to take remedial courses with very high dropout rates. And of course if we look at these statistics or the inner cities or minorities or low income we see the inequity jumps out in an even stronger way.

      Now these poor results are despite the fact that over the last 30 years society has invested substantially more in schools. There’s been an increase in the average salary, there’s been an increase in the number of adults and so it’s very disappointing that on balance the public schools with those additional resources have not been able to get better results. So our school system is desperately in need of brand new approaches and actually testing and improving those approaches out. And that’s one thing that charter schools do best. For example, if you want to try doing something that’s heavily online, if you want to try something thematic that draws students in in a cross disciplinary way, across something unusual like construction or aeronautics or outward bound, if you want to do something that blurs the boundary between high school and college all of these things are possible in the charter environment. If you want to extend the school day or even the year, if you want to enroll boys only or girls only, if you want to try out novel ideas for how you evaluate teachers and help them improve and how they work together, those things can be done in charter schools. This notion of trying new things out in education makes a lot of people uncomfortable and I can understand why, you know, they’re worried about, “Will the new system fail?” And nobody wants to either be a teacher or have students at a school that doesn’t work well. But the fact is the majority of children in the country are attending schools that don’t work for them. So it’s imperative that we take the risk to make change. Not just small changes at the market, but dramatic changes that are centered around the student. And that is the only way we’ll get a system that prepares all students to continue their education beyond high school.

      I believe the seeds of that new approach are being sewn at your schools. We need the breakthroughs and your charters are showing that breakthroughs are possible.

      One area that’s particularly ripe right now is the use of technology in the classroom. So far technologies had a very modest effect despite pronouncements about TV or drill software, it hasn’t been integrated. But the possibilities are stronger than ever and I’m confident that there is a real opportunity here and charters can be at the forefront of this. An example is what’s being done at Rocketship Education in San Jose, California. They run two schools where it’s…they’re pioneering hybrid schooling. The leaders divide the curriculum up—one is a critical thinking component, which is done in a more traditional way, collaborative learning, project-based activities, but the second complimentary piece that’s done in parallel is the basic skills component, which is done with an online learning lab using educational software. Software that assesses the student, shows them exactly what they should learn and therefore lets them proceed at their own pace. And that software shows the teacher exactly where that student is. It gives that student encouragement. This is just in an early stage and there’s a lot of learning software development to be done. But the early results show great promise. The students are scoring higher than on tests in the wealthy neighboring districts like Palo Alto even though 80% of these students are coming from low income families and many don’t speak English at home. Also the hybrid has the promise of being more efficient. It can save money. By using these online learning labs they’re able to reduce the size of the teaching core for those basic skill components. And this approach results in an over half million dollar savings per school and they can invest that money in improving the program. ..

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 2, 2012 9:17 PM at 9:17 PM |

        Craigy, I invite you to go to ANY school in Montana! Wow. You and billy are easily impressed, but that AIN’T hard to do when one has his HEAD up his ass! How many schools in Montana you been in, craigy? It’s painfully obvious that you’ve never seen ORDINARY education in action in Montana! For you see, there is nothing extraordinary OR unusual about what billy “sellin’em computers” gates is saying! Geez, you get to be a bigger penile taking point every day!

        Craigy, I invite YOU to write what you saw in a MONTANA public school during the course of a day! What? You can’t you say? Why NOT, craigy? Full of shit as usual, ain’t ya!

      • Bill Gates has been generally discredited as a school reformer. He used to support “small learning communities” as a school reform, which his organization touted as THE educational reform. When the money he invested did nothing to improve schools, he moved in on charters. There are successful charter schools, but, the broad model is corrupt and bankrupt as a reform agenda.

        And… the positive notions of what it lists here are being done all over the nation in NON-CHARTER public schools.

        • It’s true, Gates may mean well, but let’s leave the education experts to make advancements and let Gates stick to horrible operating systems and internet browsers that are always crashing.


    baha!! this is the Conservapedia entry on Jesus Christ.

  4. Oh man- check out the entry on coal. Did you know that coal did not take millions of years to form? No, Consevapedia says most if the worlds coal was actually f

  5. Glacier Park is right around the corner. Global warming in Conservapedi:

  6. Conservapedia is crap, but no one ever told children to get their information from there. My son is a student there and I have never even heard of that site. The school is accredited, but by a different board as are 12 of the 13 non-public schools in the Flathead County. Having said that, I wouldn’t vote for Hill or his proposals to fund private education.

  7. Did you attend this school? If so I hope your kids got a better ability to read than you have. You can see right here on this link, page 3, that kids are told to read the Conservapedia article on Hemingway.

  8. Also, the school IS NOT accredited by any entity recognized by the state of Montana.

    • Here’s how this works. The Christian schools, when it became apparent they couldn’t get accredited because they failed to meet the requirements. So, they created their own official sounding but fake accreditation agency with lower standards anyone could meet. This way they are able to tell uninformed parents that they are accredited–they just don’t tell anyone the agency accrediting them is a sham.

  9. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 2, 2012 9:19 PM at 9:19 PM |

    Teatards, clining to their guns, religion, and tiny dicks! They are laffable! They’re Sonju’s people!

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 3, 2012 6:15 AM at 6:15 AM |

    CRAIG’S people! STILL dumber than dog shit! Now, I ask in all sincerity and to be fair and balanced, WHERE is the Dem equivalent to these dumb bastards? Anyone? Anyone?? Anyone???

  11. The Author of this article seems to make several assumptions – several of which are grossly overstated. NEMO Arms does not endorse Rick Hill or John Sonju for election. (It is true that one of our employees is brothers of Rick Hill’s running mate.) Further, we do not support the Tea Party through Stillwater – we are supporting Stillwater because several of our employees children attend this school. The records of academic excellence achieved by the students and graduates speak for themselves.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 5, 2012 10:34 PM at 10:34 PM |

      Oh really? Would you mind just listing some of those “records of academic excellence that speak for themselves”? Like what? I’m a little skeptical. Unacredited schools are unacredited for a reason. They ususally don’t have real teachers, nor a real curiculum. So, just HOW is this academic excellence achieved? Just curious.

      And when a student attempts to enter a college with a degree from an unacredited school, they are usually have a hard time getting in, for it isn’t considered a real education. Where do these grads go to college?

    • Clint, thank you for setting the record straight. Good luck to your company.

      That being said I have not been a fan of the AR platform due to the fouling. I prefer HK for its rugged, bury it in the dirt, and shoot hundreds of rounds without a hitch. Have you solved the deficiencies of the AR?

      • Hi Craig, Yes – We certainly have improved the inherent deficiencies in the AR platform. Stop in and I’ll show you what we’ve engineered, patented and manufactured right here in Montana.

  12. Larry, Stillwater Christian records scores in both SAT and ACT exams higher than those above both State and National averages. They are also accredited by both NWAC and ACSI – both of which are acceptable acreditations at universities across the U.S. and including, but not limited to Montana State University and University of Montana.

    Beyond that, the Chief Mechanical Engineer at my company not only attended Stillwater Christian School K-12, but attended MSU on an accedmic scholarship and he is an outstanding young man. Additionally, one of our VPs also attended Stillwater for many years.

    This is first hand experience – based on facts – not rhetoric.

    Further, I have personally never experienced any push from the school to promote any political party and I would not stand for it if I knew that to be the case.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 6, 2012 6:26 AM at 6:26 AM |

      Well then, why don’t they become accredited? Seems that if they’re doing it right, it should be an easy thing to become accredited. Right? What is their beef with accreditation?

      • Once again, Ecomilitiaman, you’re missing the bus.
        For the record, I know Clint, have shot with him, and he pounded me flat.
        ACSI is Association of Christian Schools International. “striving for excellence based on a solid Christian philosophy of education foundation.”
        Fine, that’s why Christian schools exist, but Christian or not, the real bottom line of education is the SAT/ACT performance and the skill sets learned.
        NWAC is a long-standing regional accreditation entity now affiliated with AdvancED, Flathead, Glacier and Stillwater are all AdvancED accredited. I’d be interested in the average scores at Stillwater versus Flathead and Glacier.
        Or, the average SAT’s for any of Larry’s former students versus the Montana average.

  13. Larry, As I previously stated above, Stillwater is in fact accredited.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 6, 2012 6:52 PM at 6:52 PM |

      With the state of Montana? If not, why?

      • Stillwater is accredited in the state of Montana. This information, along with many facts about the school including its academic rank is readily available on Stillwaters’ website and validated through third party sites by published articles on the school by media outlets and others.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 9:12 AM at 9:12 AM |

          Couple’a points, Clint. First, the link provided by Cgirl indicates that the school apparently is NOT accredited by the Montana Board of Education. Second, a “christian” school that has the audacity to auction off an assualt rifle is about as ANTI-christian and bizarre as it gets. Sumthin’ real wrong with a school that does that. What kind of Christ-like message are they trying to send?

          Look, I don’t really care what they do, but there is a legitimate argument to be made that they do NOT represent mainstream christianity. I have YET to see the Lutherans or Catholics auction off assualt weapons. Rather than being a religous school, they seem more like a rightwing indoctriantion Jesus camp. Therefore, they should NOT receive taxpayer money. Nor should ANY so-called religious school.

          Bottom line? They can do whatever they want to with their own money. And they can promote the idea of killing in Jesus’s name all they want. But they SHOULD be criticized mightily for perverting the word of the Lord. That cheapens, demeans, and insults the real, sincere christianity out there, doncha think?

        • Stillwater Christian school is NOT accredited by the Montana Board of Education, as anyone may clearly see in this report of non-accredited schools, page 203.

  14. Larry, do you have Tourette’s?
    And by the way, the P-ss Christ was a nasty hunk of work. I’m cool with idiots calling it “art.” The real issue was that taxpayer dollars went to support that garbage. Just another few reasons why we’re 16 trillion in the crater — so one doesn’t need to be a Christian in order to be angry and disgusted by such “art.”

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 12:19 PM at 12:19 PM |

      EGGSACKLY why I don’t want to fund any “christian” schools with tax money, ESPECIALLY those that honor and revere instruments of death and destruction. My statement remains. I would rather support PISS CHRIST than support Jesus Camp for young nazis! And I would rather educate THINKING young adults than those indoctrinated in christofascism! And I THINK that Jesus would agree!

      Sorry, but that’s just the way me and Jesus are!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 3:33 PM at 3:33 PM |

      Dave, I have a better idea. If it’s a christian school, let’s study a REAL Christian! But I’m sure that any christian school might have a problem with that. Let’s study Archbishop Oscar Romero! And THEN put this assualt weapon in its proper perspective! About how Mitwit Rmoney got his start at Bain Capital with the financing from the death squads in El Salvador! And how those death squads MURDERED Romero and the six Jesuit Bishops, real christians all!

      How bout it, Dave. How bout they invite someone who can lecture on the relationship between the arms industry and the murder of HUNDRES OF THOUSANDS of people in Latin America! Yeah, let the debate begin! For you see, I think that in the memory of Romero, one of the last real Christians, we should inform the kiddies just WHAT role American arms played, and how fitting it is for a christian school to auction one off!

      Makes me PUKE!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 3:44 PM at 3:44 PM |

        READ Romero’s last speech the night BEFORE he was murdered with American arms by the SAME death squad members that financed Mitwit at Bain Capital!

        I’m Jesus’s messenger and I APPROVED this message for all the little kiddies gettin’ brainwashed! Murdering Archbishops is NOT a christian thing to do!

        So, go on with your auction and look the fools you are!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 3:48 PM at 3:48 PM |

          THIS ONE’S FOR THE KIDDY AUCTION! And pay special attention to the part where Romero IMPLORES IN THE NAME OF GOD for the arms dealers to STOP sending arms to his country! Wow! Yes, auctioning an assualt weapon is very, very appropiate for a christian school!

  15. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 12:16 PM at 12:16 PM |

    Wow. Still swingin’ for the bleachers, eh Moore’on? Sad, so sad. You got nuthin’ but libel, and that’s real sad. Seems that your masters are not to happy with me, and for me, that’s how I judge success. Thanks for the feedback.


    We’ll now return to our regularly schedule wit and wisdom from ME!

    • What libel? What have I said that is untrue about you? As to your antics, even Rob K called you a blog pimple:

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 3:42 PM at 3:42 PM |

        Got ya wondering now, don’t I? Shit you’re easy, craig. You really should know better than to report rumor as fact. You ARE an attorney are you not? Perhaps some fact checking might be in order BEFORE you print libel!

        You remind me very much of all those losers who kept turning me in to some outfit called Stolen Honor. They said that someone with my opinions could NEVER have served in ‘Nam in the military. Problem was that it was all true! And they HATED that fact. You see, Ike and Smedly Butler would have been turned in too by the same losers!

        You’ve got nuthin’ on me, and you hate that fact!

        Issues are issues, dude, need I remind you? If you can’t debate without attempting character assassination through libel, you’re more pathetic than I thought. Please grow up!

      • If you were as transcendent as you claim, Craig: how does piling on further your ego development?

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 7, 2012 3:54 PM at 3:54 PM |

          Craig had aNOTHER wardrobe malfunction! He’s shown the world once again just what a big boob he is!

          Problem is LK, these dudes simply can’t compete. As I mentioned, they’re very, very one dimensional. They have NO originality, only talking points. Nearly everything I write IS original, for I have done it all! STILL out there doin’ it! And that’s grist for the ol’ writing mill! I was a redneck long before I screwed up and got edyumacated, so ya just can’t bullshit me.

          Poor craig. Take away the talking points, and he disappears! He is what he’s ALWAYS been, the invisible man!

  16. Are you a former school teacher Larry?

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