Saturday, June 22, 2024

Get back to the basics

by Susie Hedalen
| November 15, 2023 2:00 AM

As a Republican candidate for Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, I have a simple, but clear vision for our schools: I want to bring education back to basics. 

It shouldn’t be controversial. But bringing education back to the core basics is crucial for the overall development of our students. Focusing on foundational subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, history, and critical thinking will provide a strong academic base that all our students can build upon.  My goal is to ensure that each child receives a comprehensive education that equips them for success in any endeavor.

Mathematics provides the vital tools for critical thinking and problem-solving.  English proficiency enables effective communication, a fundamental skill for all professions. Science education empowers students to understand and navigate the complexities of the modern world. Studying history imparts the knowledge of our past, guiding us toward a better future. 

We must return to these simple basics, that worked for us in the past, to provide our students with a well-rounded education that fosters growth.

We need to remember that honoring both families and teachers is essential for a well-rounded educational experience. I want to create a supportive and nurturing environment where all students can thrive. 

This can be achieved by fostering open lines of communication and collaboration between families and educators. That also means recognizing the invaluable role our teachers play – and providing them with the necessary resources, professional development, and support they will need to further enhance the quality of education in Montana.

Parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s education, and their voices must be heard and respected. I am committed to giving parents a greater say in their child’s education, and ensuring that they have access to information, resources, and the ability to make decisions that best suit their family’s needs. Whether through transparency in curriculum, or involvement in the decision-making process, I will empower parents to take an active role in their child’s education.

Now, none of this works if our children don’t have a safe and secure learning environment. 

Ensuring school safety is one of my top priorities. I will work hard to see that school safety measures are put in place to protect our students and teachers. This includes working with local communities to implement effective security protocols, partnering with law enforcement agencies, and addressing the mental health needs of our students. 

Together, we can ensure that every school in Montana is a sanctuary of learning, free from fear.

Lastly, I want to help create opportunities and experiences for Montana students that are key to their comprehensive development. By encouraging extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and community service, we can foster creativity, teamwork, and a sense of civic responsibility. 

 By offering diverse learning experiences we will help students connect their education to the real world and prepare them for their future success.

Together, we can bring Montana education back to the tried-and-true basics, creating a robust and thriving educational system that prepares our students for a bright future.

Please join me in this journey to reviving a robust and thriving educational system everyone can be proud of. I look forward to the campaign and connecting with Montanans across our great state about my vision to be the next Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. For more information go to