Guest Post: On the road and at home, public education rules Montana’s economy


By John Heenan, Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives, Montana

I know it. Most Montanans know it. At its core, the strength of Montana’s economy and our way of life relies on the power of a strong public education system. Nowhere is that more clear than on a road trip in Montana. Here is my most recent road trip story.   

At Miles Community College, I heard story after story of students attending agriculture programs and then going back to the family farm to substantially increase the farm’s productivity through techniques learned in school. Young Montanans can earn two-year degree by age 20 and then they’re instantly making upwards of $40,000 per year working trade or skilled jobs.

Miles Community College has a truck driver training program that takes only a couple weeks to earn CDL certification. As a guy that helped pay for college by driving a truck, I know that’s a job that pays well by the mile if you’re willing to work hard over long hours. Because of the bureaucracy of the federal student loan program, the school is out of reach for so many people. They are willing to work hard, but cannot afford the training.

In Glendive, at Dawson Community College, students are invited to partake in incredible welding and corrosion programs—the corrosion program being unique to the state. These schools are training young people for jobs that are here in Montana, right now, that will provide a good paycheck.

Back at home, my wife Meagen and I have been sending our children to the Billings public school across the street from our house for nearly ten years, and we’ll be continuing to send them to Montana public schools for even longer.

Up the street at the Billings Career Center, students are building entire houses, which are then sold at the end of the academic year. Mechanics classes are rebuilding a car bumper to bumper. Students in one class were even learning how to suture a wound. These programs are designed to help graduates prepare, whether they enter the workforce with job-ready skills, or with a solid foundation for their next phase of schooling, these public school programs are prime examples of what public education can and should be in the 21st Century economy.

I recently visited a government class at Billings West High School and it was inspiring; teenagers spoke up about their enthusiasm for leadership and civics, engaging me with thoughtful questions, perpetual inquiry.The young people in our state are truly critical thinkers.

Yet, schools are constantly under threat, asked to do more with less.

Support for public education is not a partisan issue. It’s just good economic policy. When we invest in our schools, we invest in our children, and we make sure they are equipped for the jobs which employers in our great state need filled. We are building our tax base and ensuring continued economic growth in our communities. Rather than give tax cuts to billionaires and corporations, we could be using this money to invest in Montana and our future.

Young Montanans can earn an excellent education within a field that they are able to walk out the door and into a good paying job in our state, grow our economy and grow our tax base, and thrive.

As your next U.S. Congressman, I will expand taxpayer funding of quality public education, particularly trade and vocational skills. It is an important, wise investment. Not a single student should be deprived of the ability to get certified as a welder, or in heavy equipment operations, or for diesel repair because they cannot afford the tuition.

The secret to reinvigorating Montana’s economy is no secret at all. We must invest in our young people, Montana’s next generations.


48 Comments on "Guest Post: On the road and at home, public education rules Montana’s economy"

  1. Wonderfully written! I’d vote for you if I could! Am currently teaching in NM.

  2. Critical thinkers- that’s a good one! Over the last 50 years Public Education has morphed into Public Indoctrination, wherein every new Leftist agenda item has been dropped into the open, empty minds of our children. If the Bernie crowd gets its way, that “free” indoctrination will formally extend past High School and on into college, with taxpayer funded brainwashing ladled out by socialist professors who have never had to live in the real world, much less serve in the military. Where do you think the Spaghetti-arm Leftist Antifa jackasses got their ideas? Who enables their criminal antics? Look no further than the former hippies who are now University Presidents and their commie drone underlings.
    It’s time to provide for alternatives to this tax-funded socialist propaganda machine, and to make those who create their nonsense curricula accountable to the saner half of our society.

    • It seems that having never experienced any you are prepared to stand before us and preach its evils?
      Left or right, if you are actually raising your children and have strength in your values then what is Un-American and fearful in learning a bit from the other side?
      “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend”
      T. Jefferson

      • Jefferson was referring to friends, not enemies. Is there value in listening to enemies? Perhaps, if only to understand their motives and goals. The enemies of our culture wish to destroy individual liberties in the name of the collective; the educational system is a tool to that end, filling minds with mush and squelching dissent. Look at Berkeley today.

        “I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush – Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800

        • Nicely crafted deflections!! You state in reference to your deficit of intellectual acumen that, “Hardly. I received an education that included an emphasis on actual thinking, not just parroting.” Bulllllshhiiiitttt!!!!! Your posts are regurgitated cut and paste Putin troll farm alt-right political-pablum talking points with little or no thought. Their only aims are to seek political chaos and division. Ideological purity is a refuge for intellectual inferiority. It is unfortunate that you cannot use Orwell’s theory on the power of words to more constructive purposes.
          You state, “Look at Berkeley today.” The protests there against alt-right speakers is, in my opinion, unequivocally Un-American. What did I say in my original post? What is that you are saying? That the entire public education system is a reflection of Berkley’s piss poor free speech example and the right NEVER has a voice? News to me that Texas A&M is a liberal hotbed. More of your Orwellian revisionist fantasy world. Where you choose to send you and yours is YOUR responsibility. You are the angry hypocrite because you feel the nanny state is not currently inculcating JUST the values which you hold dear. Its been my experience in higher education that teachers fall into both the right and the left of of the political spectrum. Its up to you whether you choose to grow from perspective or wither within the safety of your pet ideology.
          Next, while speaking in reference to the idea of American political discourse you make the unsophisticated argument that Jefferson’s quote was ONLY, “referring to friends, not enemies,” and continue asking the question, “Is there value in listening to enemies? Perhaps, if only to understand their motives and goals.” Who was Alexander Hamilton? Not an American friend? I guess that that’s the critical difference between you and your Un-American philosophies and ‘ol T.J. and the American majority that will ultimately return your dated alt-right philosophies to historical obscurity. You consider your FELLOW CITIZENS that differ in opinion to be the enemy. If an enemy shows you the fallacy of your logic are they still an enemy? A true friend tells you when you are full of shit!
          You are FAR more interested in Un-American ideological purity and division than solutions.

          • Nice try. Hamilton was a Monarchist and an enemy of freedom. So stated Jefferson, many, many times. We certainly have enemies within; you can tell who they are by their continual attempts to undermine American culture. Another indicator is one who picks and chooses when to be a patriot. Like Hollywood perverts quick to avoid scrutiny, Leftists wrap themselves in the flag or pretend to care about their “Fellow Citizens” when they are exposed. You’re fooling no one. The good news for you Leftists is that you are no longer the highest priority. You’ve been rejected at the polls in almost every election since 2010 (excepting, of course, states full of Socialists and their illegal alien slaves). No, the trends are obvious and irreversible, and the RINOs are the high priority targets now. Being cowards by nature, most Socialists will feign adherence to American values when the tide has plainly shifted. We’ll rid ourselves of the few remaining die-hard commies later.

            • “Nice try. Hamilton was a Monarchist and an enemy of freedom. So stated Jefferson, many, many times.”
              Historical tautology anyone?
              “We certainly have enemies within; you can tell who they are by their continual attempts to undermine American culture.”
              We sure do!!!
              ” You’ve been rejected at the polls…No, the trends are obvious and irreversible…”
              The new Liberian mayor in Helena must be making your head explode! Whistle in the dark much there Marj?
              “…the RINOs are the high priority targets now.”
              Fuck ya!!! Feel free!

              • You must be tired, poor thing! Those responses were nearly nonsequiturs. With respect to an historical “tautology,” there is numerous examples in Jefferson’s letters where he made such statements. In fact, he came out of retirement to become President simply to undo all of the damage that Hamilton had wrought. And he did.

            • Also :)… your whole fuckin alt-right revisionist narrative on patriotism is a crock of shit! You state that, ” Leftists wrap themselves in the flag or pretend to care about their “Fellow Citizens” when they are exposed,” and that higher education is all just, “socialist professors who have never had to live in the real world, much less serve in the military.”
              It is your patriotism that is one of convince. Weird!! I know of quite a few masters and doctors that have served. Shit! Some are even “librul” in their conviction. HOW it is that you fail to see the hypocrisy of waving your Alt-Right flag while supporting a fat orange draft dodger that picks on P.O.W.’s is truly astounding!

    • Wow, Margerie did you come up with those brilliant ideas all on your own?
      P.S. Glad to know you support Nazis and Fascist over the anti-Fascists.

      • Hardly. I received an education that included an emphasis on actual thinking, not just parroting. It required actual knowledge- you know, history, mathematics, the writings of great American men like Jefferson- as the foundations for insight and understanding. Now that all of those things are passé, I understand why people have a harder time spotting nonsense than they used to.
        As far as Anteefah goes, those spindly-armed morons are just the usual useful idiots that always gravitate to socialist puppet masters, who then use them to do their dirty work. The idea that they are opposing fascism is absurd- they’re merely living out their fantasies via Live Action Role Play.

  3. Well stated, Mr. Heenan. An educated population is the foundation of a strong, successful country. Education facilitates productive members of society by reducing poverty, boosting economic growth, increasing income as well as increasing measurable intelligence. Unfortunately, the thought of educating the masses frightens the narrow-minded folks with hateful agendas. Often, these people are sadly lacking in both education and intellect — and love of their fellow humans.

  4. John that’s not what the Dems want to hear. They want you to talk about gun control, special rights for gays, abortion on demand, and how bad the president has been behaving.

    What kind of a candidate are you ?!?

    • There are no special rights for gays, just equal rights.

      If it’s not your vagina, keep your nose out of it.

      • If they have no special rights, why do they have special protections?

        • Also, we women had better rethink our attitudes towards our own vaginas. If we don’t get back to using them for their intended purpose, we will rapidly cease to exist.

        • Because bigots like you single them out for special hatred, abuse and discrimination because they exist.

          • Right. Hard-working people have nothing better to do than to single out crazies for torment. Those poor souls, we have to take care of them! After all, they vote Democrat!

            It couldn’t be that they contribute nothing, and consume everything in their hedonistic lives. Nor could it be that they confuse otherwise normal kids about what sane behavior really is.

            Little wonder we’re in so much trouble- we can’t tell sh*t from Shinola anymore.

            • The original Art Fenske (yep there seem to be two of us posting here) | November 13, 2017 6:31 AM at 6:31 AM |

              “Right. Hard-working people have nothing better to do than to single out crazies for torment.”

              For a “Hard Working” person you seem to have plenty of free time to spew your brand of bullshit. Or is this your job?

              • I wish. No, I work every day. I’m just happily trying to inject some diversity into your echo chamber. After all, Diversity is always good, no?

                • The original Art Fenske (yep there seem to be two of us posting here) | November 13, 2017 2:38 PM at 2:38 PM |

                  Diversity is fine. I don’t believe you think so.

                  So your boss knows you spend time at work posting bullshit on the internet?

                  • Does yours? I am the boss, so I guess the answer is yes, I do know that I’m posting. Just trying to shed some light into the dark corners of Liberals minds.

                    Diversity of experience, qualification, and ability are fine. Diversity as defined by the Left- which consists of things over which no one has any control, such as sex, race, etc.- is, in and of itself, utterly worthless.

                    Example: If I was trying to fix a rocket engine, I’d certainly want diversity of engineering experience. Adding an Eskimo would add to the Leftist’s brand of Diversity, but would get us no closer to fixing the engine… unless the Eskimo was also, by coincidence, a great rocket engineer. (BTW- I know about this, because I am a steely-eyed rocket engineer).

                    Most people used to understand this, before they became intimidated by you SJWs and your “activisms.” The good news is that now, they care a lot less about what names you might call them because they have figured out that A. you’re wrong, and B. you’ll call them names no matter what they do.

  5. Public education is under attack as is the larger concept of a public good. Privatization, deregulation, and commodification of every aspect of our lives are sold as “freedom.” We are expected to be market-based entrepreneurs, each responsible for ourselves, with no sense of a collectivity. Democracy itself is the ultimate threat to the Koch’s and their fellow fat cats.

    • There is no conflict between being responsible for ourselves and being responsible for our societies. The definition of a citizen is one who makes the well-being of his society his personal responsibility. Notice that there is no indispensable role for government in any of those responsibilities. As government increasingly sticks its nose into our lives, fewer people behave like citizens, assuming that government wil “take care” of them, or that someone else will defend us, or feed our neighbors when they are in need. Government schools are likewise a poison for the nation’s soul, creating shallow, entitled zombies who cannot think, but only emote.

  6. Great article John. Keep it up!

    • Great article and he doesn’t have to loose sleep trying to impress people with the quote of the 1800.

      • A few immigrants? No problem. From Islamic countries? No… problem. After all, there can’t be that many. Besides, they’ll assimilate, won’t they? Besides, it could never be a problem here in Montana… could it? Here is the Mall of America in Minnesota, courtesy of James Woods. Get your Christmas shopping done early!

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