Contact the Montana State Superintendent to Stop Chapter 55 Changes
It's important that the Montana Board of Public Education and the Superindentent of Education hear directly from constituents like you to stop the proposed changes to Chapter 55 ratios of students to school librarians, school counselors, and other electives.
The Montana Library Association is campaigning alongside the Montana School Counselors Association and the Montana Federation of Public Employees in a growing coalition to oppose Chapter 55 revisions proposed by state Superintendent of Public Education Elise Artnzen. Her proposed changes would radically and permanently alter the ratio of students to staff in several key positions including school librarians and school counselors while also eliminating the minimum required programs for everything from visual arts and music to career and technical education, world languages, creative writing, drama, and even financial education.
In short, the proposed changes would make students more vulnerable by reducing the number of counselors, make them less academically successful by reducing the number of school librarians, and less prepared for careers and life by eliminating the electives that make for well-rounded people.
It is important to share that this proposal has been rejected by the Chapter 55 Task Force but is still being considered by the Negotiated Rules Making Committee (June 1 agenda). This is highly irregular and concerning.
As advocates for Montana students, we need to do three things right now: 1) continue to make comments to the NRMC to oppose these changes. The more people who are on record opposing the changes the better. We need to 2) be prepared and vigilant for when the recommendation moves to the full Board of Public Education. It is ultimately their decision to follow these unwise and ill-conceived recommendations. MLA is working closely with its coalition partners to coordinate that message to the BPE, which is why we are 3) encouraging people to contact Superintendent Elise Artnzen directly by email or at her office to express your concerns personally. Please review the proposed Chapter 55 changes before you reach out. Her contact info is [email protected] or office phone 406-444-5643.
Thank you for standing with school librarians, school counselors, and other educators to ensure that students in Montana do not lose out on their education.