Sandy Welch Understands Economic Literacy

Has there ever been a politician who didn’t tout the importance of a good education system?  I’ve never seen one.  They all agree.

Ask any citizen or businessperson what’s really important for success individually, or as a nation.  The answer will almost certainly include, “a good education.”

I find that education is like the weather – everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.

We now have a chance to do something about education.  We can elect Sandy Welch as Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A former math teacher and a successful school administrator, Welch certainly has the academic chops to qualify her for the position.  More important to me is her understanding of economics.

Schools today fail to equip our students with economic literacy.   We continue to turn out graduates who do not understand the basic facts of economic life, and they are walking targets to any financial or political shyster.  No subject is more critical.  Every American sets out each day to improve his or her family’s standard of living.

Sandy Welch gets it.  Early in her career, she worked for an accounting firm.  She wrote a book about financial fundamentals for teens.   She supports a curriculum that emphasizes a firm, internal understanding of basic economics that will accelerate every student’s success in life.

Welch has a clear understanding of the State Superintendent’s role on the State Land Board.  Unlike the incumbent, Denise Juneau, who lines up with environmentalists in opposition to coal extraction in Montana, Sandy Welch appreciates the importance of resource development to our school funding, and to the state’s economy and jobs.

We don’t do anything about the weather because we can’t change it.   But we can no longer consider education a spectator sport.  It’s time to do something.  We can get involved directly with our student’s coursework and classrooms.  We can participate in school board meetings and provide input to administrators.  We can view our schools as more than athletic venues.

And we can elect Sandy Welch as our next Montana Superintendent of Schools.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

The dancing is kinda weird, but you gotta
love the sound of those great Fender amps –
It’s only two minutes . . . watch this
oldie but goodie by Herman’s Hermits

Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Welch Photo: Jr. High Kids in Charge at KFBB?


This week KFBB News in Great Falls ran an item about the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction race, opening with a nice video of incumbent Democrat Denise Juneau addressing her adoring supporters, and featuring pretty children holding “Juneau” signs.

The news producer then had to put a graphic on the screen to represent the challenger, Republican Sandy Welch.  So what image did the station select?  An obscure Facebook photo from a Halloween party showing Welch dressed up as a devil.  Really!

What on earth were they thinking?   A 10-second Google search reveals dozens of appropriate and official photographs of Ms. Welch, and her well-oiled campaign staff is loaded with PR materials immediately available on request, so this was no accident.  Obviously KFBB has no reservations about revealing their political persuasions to the world.

Welch’s campaign has enjoyed big momentum recently,  having won the endorsement of State Senator Jonathan Windy Boy.   Windy Boy said, “Denise Juneau doesn’t understand how to solve the problems our schools are facing. Juneau increases mandates and creates new programs with great media campaigns. Mandates don’t help kids. After hearing Juneau debate, it’s clear that she isn’t focused on increasing school performance. ”

Windy Boy’s endorsement was reassuring to me as an indicator that clear-thinking Native Americans in Montana don’t vote strictly by color (see my post about that).  And, despite Juneau’s insulting contention, I’ll bet they love their kids enough to feed them (see my post about that).

Sandy Welch is probably enjoying a good laugh, and KFBB will doubtless wither in their embarrassment over this juvenile episode. Maybe it was “bring your child to work day” and the producer’s junior high kid was calling the shots.  Or perhaps the producer is bucking for a promotion to the big time – shameless Democrat shill MSNBC.

By the way, I think Sandy Welch is a pretty cute little devil!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

She’s just a devil woman,
With evil on her mind.
Beware the devil woman,
She’s gonna get you from behind!

Devil Woman – Cliff Richards

Another Report – Montana Parents Don’t Feed Their Kids

A few weeks ago I poked fun at Montana State Superintendent of Schools Denise Juneau when she gleefully reported to the DNC that in Montana “sometimes school is the only place where our kids can get a hot meal and a warm hug.”

Aside from being a direct insult to Montana parents, I thought it was just hyped-up rhetoric for the victim-worshippers assembled at the convention.  But maybe I was wrong.

Now the president of the Montana Rural Education Association, Tim Tharp, has made the same claim.  On “Voices of Montana” with radio host Aaron Flint, Tharp also described “students who come from homes where they don’t always get a good breakfast or have a lot of good food waiting for them when they get home.  We have a lot of kids in poverty across Montana.  They get 10 good meals a week, and that’s what they get- breakfast and lunch at school.”

If this is true – if, in spite of all the numerous assistance and food stamp programs available – there are parents who don’t care enough about their children to even FEED THEM, we have a lot bigger problem in Montana than Michelle Obama’s menu.  What in the world is our Montana Dept. of Health and Human Services doing?  This is blatant child abuse and neglect.

And I submit that if Ms. Juneau (and perhaps Mr. Tharp) has first-hand knowledge of child abuse and fails to report it, they are culpable too.

Like all moral adults, I want kids to have nutritious and enjoyable meals.  I would have no problem if lunch was part of the school budget and provided free for all students, regardless of income.  I would, however, expect parents to take care of feeding their children at home, not only as a parental responsibility, but also as a constructive and enjoyable family activity.

What concerns me are the repeated claims that many Montana parents are neglecting their children and it is apparently acceptable behavior.  If that’s true, shame on all of us, for turning our backs on the social mechanisms that once prevented child neglect.

Is it possible that many Montana parents who actually do love their children, and actually are able to feed them as generations before have done, have decided “if the government will buy all of my childrens’ meals, maybe I should use our family money for something else?”

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Eat it!  Eat it!
Don’t you make me repeat it!
Have a banana, have a whole bunch
It doesn’t matter what you had for lunch
Just eat it!  Eat it, eat it, eat it!

Eat It – Weird Al Yankovic

Juneau: Montana Kids Are Abused

Montana Children Waiting To Be Fed By Their Teachers

On behalf of the state of Montana, I apologize to America.  Our state superintendent of schools, Denise Juneau, spoke to the DNC and the entire nation yesterday, and I am embarrassed to have everyone see how low our once-great state has sunk.

Juneau revealed to the world that “Sometimes school is the only place where our kids can get a hot meal and a warm hug”.  She admitted that Montana parents do not care enough about their children to even feed them, or show affection.

She confessed that without President Obama, our kids have no chance for success.  But if Obama is re-elected, the opportunities are limitless – our children, she said, can emerge “from a home with a struggling single mom to the White House”.

Montana parents offer no future to our kids, especially single moms and our Native American families.  “Teachers are the only ones who tell kids they can go from the Indian reservation to the Ivy League,” she said.   I’m sorry you have to see how horrible our Montana parents are, based on the damning report by Denise Juneau.  So bad that teachers have to raise our kids for us, and even they can’t succeed unless Barack Obama is re-elected.

Juneau’s opponent for the office of superintendent of Montana schools, Sandy Welch, says if we can stop the Obama administration, senators Baucus and Tester, the EPA, and the radical environmental groups from blocking the development of our abundant energy resources, our economy will improve dramatically, along with family incomes, the tax base, and funds for education.

But Denise Juneau, in her speech, pointed out that it’s better to beg for scraps from a federal government sinking in debt, and rely on more hope and more change from a failed President rather than support Montana parents and local school boards and administrators, even if it holds down teacher salaries.

America, I’m sorry for what has happened to our Montana kids.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Hungry for those good things, baby
Hungry through and through
I’m hungry for that sweet life, baby
With a real fine girl like you

Hungry – Paul Revere and the Raiders

Montanans Don’t Care About Their Kids

What do you want your child to be able to do when he or she becomes an adult?

Let me guess:  How about “make a good living, have a nice home, raise a family?”  Perhaps “have a comfortable lifestyle without being burdened with debt and insecurity?”  Maybe “save some money for a comfortable retirement?”

You may have other, more fuzzy aspirations for your child, such as “happiness” or “love” or “fulfillment”.  But I’ll bet the items I mentioned above are at the top of your list.

Then why have you and I and every Montana parent not DEMANDED that our schools teach our children about money?

Except those who are on welfare, or are retired, or are so disabled that they are excluded from work, every American wakes up each morning and sets out to improve his or her family’s standard of living.  It’s the essence of life.  We have wants and needs, and we strive to fulfill them within the economic system in which we live.  One would think that our education system would be geared toward that top priority of life, and our children would leave school with a fundamental working knowledge of the role of money, finance, and economics in our free-market democratic republic.

But no.  Our state requires high school students to learn mathematics, language skills, social studies, science, health, art, world languages, and vocational/technical studies.  An extensive array of fine arts is recommended.  But my search of the Montana Office of Public Instruction website did not find the word “economics” mentioned EVEN ONCE.

The OPI website includes numerous articles trumpeting the importance of Indian studies, but none about how to make our Native American students financially successful and independent.

Can you name one human activity that does not involve money?

Can you guess how many high school athletes become professional athletes?  Basketball: .03% .   Football: .09%.   We know how much attention and money is paid to those pursuits.

But how many high school students will need to earn a paycheck or make a profit, file a tax return, handle financial transactions with confidence, understand how their government handles their money, buy insurance, manage a family budget, make intelligent borrowing, saving, and investing decisions?  100%.

(By the way, most professional athletes are bankrupt within a few years of the end of their playing careers, because they weren’t taught economics in school either.)

Some Montana schools offer consumer economics classes or a make a minimal attempt at teaching economics within other courses.  But I’ll bet the participation rate is miniscule where offered.

The biggest failure in our education system is the refusal to provide our children the financial literacy they need to thrive and survive.  As we continue to matriculate generation after generation of walking economic victims, our nation flounders in debt, our dependency on government explodes, and we elect whichever pandering politician promises to give us the most free “stuff”.

One can only conclude that Montana parents either haven’t seriously thought about the importance of economics, or they think their kids are destined to become professional athletes.  Either way, the kids are screwed.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone

Another Brick In the Wall – Pink Floyd