Montana sheriffs sit down with senators for discussion of importance of early childhood education

Got a press release from U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s office today announcing that he and fellow Democratic Sen. Max Baucus had a sit-down with a group of Montana sheriffs and others this week.

The topic of discussion: The importance of early childhood education.

What about it? Tester says he supports it, and apparently, the folks he met with do too. They include Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton, Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards and State Director of America’s Edge, Dave Curry. America’s Edge, according to the press release, “is a membership organization with an office in Butte that works to strengthen businesses and the economy by investing in children at an early age.”

Here’s the rest of the release for your perusing pleasure:

“The key to a good economy is good education, making early education an investment in our future,” said Tester, a former teacher.  “Through the Home Visiting Program we’ve seen improved school readiness and reductions in crime.  Investing in childhood education pays short- and long-term benefits for our state.”

Home Visiting provides grants to state agencies and organizations, including the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and tribal organizations.  The State of Montana recently won a $5.7 million grant.

Tester also spoke about the need to fully fund Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.  The automatic budget cuts, knows as the sequester, have hurt early childhood education efforts like Head Start, which received a five percent budget cut in 2013.

Tester, a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, will continue to push to repeal the cuts and ensure full funding for Head Start and grants for early education.

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Certain politicians get thanks from moms for Mother’s Day

A group of about 20 moms and their kids – a stroller brigade – strolled along the street between Missoula’s Public Library and Montana Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus’ Missoula offices earlier today.

Stroller brigadeHere’s why: They were showing their support for strong federal clean air protections, and wanted to thank the senators for their support of stronger Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The full news release on the event is available below.

But as they say: Wait, there’s more!

Montana Women Vote is also encouraging folks to thank their favorite state politicians now that the 2011 legislative session has come to a close.

“As this challenging Montana legislative session has come to an end, we can all be grateful to the brave and tireless legislators who stood and advocated for issues important to women and families,” says the notice sent out by Montana Women Vote.

The note includes a link to a Mother’s Day card you can print out, write on and send to an elected official of your choice. It reads, “Thank you from all the mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren for your hard work for the future of Montana. Your mama would be proud.”

The folks at Montana Women Vote, thorough people that they are, also include handy links to a complete list of Montana legislator addresses, and a list of other statewide elected officials’ addresses.

If one of your favorite state legislators happens to be Missoula Democrat Carol Williams, the first female Senate Majority Leader in Montana history, then you will be delighted with this coming Sunday’s guest column. It’s also about certain congressional delegates and the Clean Air Act.

But, dear readers, I won’t make you wait to read the opinion piece by Williams, a mother of three and grandmother of three. Here’s a special sneak peek for your reading pleasure, following the news release about the stroller brigade.

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Think twice before taking your daughter to the U.S. Capitol

Lynette Long, a licensed psychologist in Chevy Chase, Maryland, penned an opinion piece noting the stark lack of female figures honored at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. – and it’s not for lack of material.

Read on:

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