Editorial: Elect Denise Juneau to top education post
Note: Denise Juneau, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

"When Denise Juneau says "I am a product of Montana public schools," she makes the statement with pride. She has achieved the kind of success we want for all Montana students.

The Democratic nominee for state superintendent of public instruction has spent most of her adult life studying or working for public schools. The daughter of two teachers, she graduated from high school in Browning, earned a teaching degree at Montana State University and a master's degree in education at Harvard University. She taught school in North Dakota and in her Montana hometown then moved to a job at the Office of Public Instruction, went on to earn a law degree from the University of Montana in 2004 and clerked for two Montana Supreme Court justices while the court was considering the major school funding lawsuit. Now she's back working for OPI as a division administrator, has served on legislative teams and testified before the Legislature.

On challenges to the state school funding formula, Juneau said solutions may require more more money or using it differently. As superintendent she would research data to better understand needs and solutions.

"The Legislature made a good start with Indian student and at-risk student funding," Juneau said. But she acknowledged that the help so far isn't enough to close the opportunity gap for students who start school with substantial disadvantages.

"We have more and more schools not meeting accreditation standards," she notes."

Get the Story:
Gazette Opinion: Juneau brings excellent resume to OPI campaign (The Billings Gazette 10/15)

Related Stories:
Indian candidate wins nomination in Montana (6/4)
Jodi Rave: Montana candidate endorsed by INDN's list (5/19)

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