Montana applies for Race to the Top grant

MEA-MFT has been working with Governor Brian Schweitzer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau on Montana's application for federal Race to the Top grant funds.


Unfortunately, Montana did not receive a grant.


Below is the text of the official letter sent by MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver to the U.S. Dept. of Education in support of Montana’s Race to the Top grant application:


May 27, 2010

Joanne Weiss
Race to the Top Program Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education

Dear Ms. Weiss:

On behalf of my union, MEA-MFT, I am pleased to support Montana’s Race to the Top application.

MEA-MFT is the merged state affiliate of NEA and AFT. As a merged union of teachers, university faculty, Head Start, state and county employees, and health care providers, we are Montana’s largest labor union by far.

We are proud to represent so many folks living and working in nearly all Montana communities who give so much to the present and future health and welfare of our state and nation.

Montana’s public school students have a history of high achievement, and our capable members, governance, and staff are engaged and prepared to work enthusiastically with state and local education partners to further advance student success.

Throughout the grant development process MEA-MFT worked in partnership with Governor Brian Schweitzer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, and Chair of the Board of Public Education Patty Myers. At our urging MEA-MFT teacher local affiliates across the state joined with school district superintendents and trustees and signed MOUs demonstrating their support of the RTTT application effort.

Montana would not have achieved what is in truth an incredible number of participants serving the overwhelming majority of our public school students had MEA-MFT not believed the governor, superintendent, and board of public education have a compelling plan to move our state’s educational program forward and that an RTTT grant will help make that plan happen. We are confident that as school districts and our bargaining units confab, collaborate, and bargain as necessary to implement the challenging changes our RTTT grant provokes, they will reach educational conclusions good for all.

We are especially looking forward to working with our state and local school community partners in developing and implementing uniform, rigorous, research-based, purposeful teacher and administrator evaluation protocols and instruments. Our commitment to educator evaluation could not be greater. Now more than ever.

We urge you to award a Race to the Top grant to Montana. You can be sure our educational leaders will not waste a penny putting these taxpayer dollars to positive educational outcomes for students, teachers, and public school communities across our great state. You can count on MEA-MFT to help.


Eric Feaver, President

c. Governor Brian Schweitzer
Superintendent Denise Juneau
Board of Public Education Chair Patty Myers

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