Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen was on the KGVO Talk Back program on Tuesday and said Governor Steve Bullock was using the issue of Montana schools and the COVID 19 pandemic for his own political purposes.

“Because of the pandemic, I do believe the governor’s office is using messaging as well as using the deployment of dollars for a benefit that is not for students,” said Arntzen. “This siloing of information, making sure that it isn’t transparent, I believe that some of this us happening in a back room. Let me tell you, that’s not the way we do politics in Montana.”

Arntzen said students and their families are more important that the governor’s next political aspiration.

“Our taxpayers, our parents and our children must have a real understanding, and a view that’s based on their health and safety, and not based on getting to the next political office,” she said.

Arntzen said she has reached out to the governor’s office several times as the time for return to school has been approaching, and he has not been responsive.

“I have extended my hand, I have extended my cell phone, I have extended the great experts at the OPI in our office to help in any manner, shape or form and those things have been excluded, we’ve been excluded from this conversation,” she said. “In this pandemic I’ve had two phone calls from the governor; two phone calls; and that’s it.”

Arntzen is up for reelection to a second term as the Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her Democratic opponent is Melissa Romano.