Former state legislator Amanda Curtis said in an interview with KGVO News on Friday that she is afraid that if Greg Gianforte is elected governor, then he will work to eliminate the teachers union through the state legislature.

Amanda Curtis, recently elected as the new President of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, said one of the most important issues facing her administration and the union itself is the defeat of Greg Gianforte for governor.

“For the first time in Montana’s history we have a governor’s race that will determine whether or not this union actually exists,” said Curtis. “Greg Gianforte is, I believe, the second richest man in Congress, and can self fund his own candidacy, just like he self funds his own school and just as he funds other extremist political campaigns.”

Curtis explained how she believes that Gianforte might work to eliminate what was once the state teacher’s union, now part of the Montana Federation of Public Employees.

“He, I believe, will eliminate this union and privatize Montana education as his first and second orders of business in the state legislature,” she said. “Because of that, and because of his track record and his voting record, Montana MFPE members voted this spring to condemn his candidacy, and our members have never voted to condemn a candidacy before.”

Curtis maintained that such a move by a Gianforte administration would have to come through the state legislature.

“It would have to come through the legislature,” she said. “We’ve seen situations in other states where the most extreme example of the far right gets elected and comes in and wipes out the board of public education that is responsible for teacher licensure and certification in the state of Montana.”

KGVO News has reached out to the Gianforte for Governor Campaign for a response.

This is nothing more than a scare tactic and far-fetched conspiracy theory worthy of a tinfoil hat. As governor, Greg will work to get more resources to the classroom and our teachers. Greg knows educators work hard every day to prepare our students, and we don't pay them enough. Too often they don't have the resources they need to fulfill their mission, because education bureaucracy and overhead consume too much.’

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