Montana’s superintendent of public instruction names top priorities

December 6, 2018

One legislative priority for Elsie Arntzen, Montana’s public schools chief, is to make it illegal for teachers to have sex with students, including those who have reached the age of consent. Another priority is to restore more than $20 million cut from K12 schools by the 2017 Legislature and the budget-cutting special session.

Student safety is a high priority for Montana’s public schools chief Elsie Arntzen, who plans to ask the 2019 Legislature to make it a crime for teachers and other school staff to have sex with students, even students ages 16 to 18.

Arntzen, superintendent of public instruction, has told lawmakers that it should be illegal for teachers to have sex with students, including students who have reached 16, the age of consent in Montana.

Another top priority for Arntzen is to restore more than $20 million cut from K-12 schools by the 2017 Legislature and the budget-cutting special session, cuts that were accompanied by lawmakers’ promises that the money would be restored after the state’s budget crisis passed. She said she is optimistic about getting that money restored and persuading lawmakers to pass the school funding bill early in the 2019 session to help local school officials prepare their own budgets.