Demand For Education Freedom Is Surging In Montana
"As demand for education options increases, Montana lawmakers should work to expand upon the success of education tax credits by giving parents more ability to direct their child's education."
Over the last few years parents have faced a number of difficult challenges regarding their child’s education.
When confronted with controversial critical race theory and mask mandates, parents in other states with greater education options were able to simply move their child to a school that aligned with their child’s needs.
Unfortunately, unless parents were able to afford private school tuition, most Montana parents had few options. This is one reason why the demand for more education options has reached an all-time high in Montana.
In Frontier President and CEO, Kendall Cotton’s latest op-ed, he explains the status of education freedom in Montana and the path forward:
“It goes without saying that one education does not fit all students. The educational needs of students are as diverse and unique as the students themselves.”
This perspective caused the number of homeschooled students to skyrocket over the last two years. But homeschooling isn’t the only education option that has grown in popularity.
“Montana has seen a huge surge in interest in funding innovative education options in both public and private schools, all thanks to a tax credit law changed by Montana’s 2021 Legislature.”
While homeschooling and the education tax credit scholarship program have increased in popularity, Montana still lags behind other states in providing education freedom.
“Nearly every state in the U.S. provides more education options for students than Montana. 44 states allow for innovative educational options like charter schools. Eight states have created Education Savings Accounts, a program that allows parents to direct their student’s share of education dollars to pay for a variety of educational options, such as private or public school tuition, tutoring, special learning programs for students with learning disabilities, education therapies, accelerated learning programs etc.”
As demand for education options increases, Montana lawmakers should work to expand upon the success of education tax credits by giving parents more ability to direct their child’s education.
New Addition To The Frontier Team
I am excited to introduce you to Chris Isaacs, the newest member of the Frontier Institute team!Joining as a Tech and Innovation Policy Analyst, Chris will play an integral role in helping to make Montana a national leader in innovation.
A born and raised Kentuckian, Chris’s passion for championing innovative communities stems from his family’s Appalachian roots and working in Uganda after college. Chris loves backpacking, canoeing, and climbing. Chris earned an M.A. in International Commerce and a law degree from the University of Kentucky.
Facial Recognition Update
This week, the Economic Affairs Interim Committee met to discuss two options for legislation that would limit the government use of facial recognition. One option implements a complete moratorium on the technology, while the other option establishes privacy protections while still allowing taxpayers to benefit from things like unemployment fraud prevention.
Our Take: States that have implemented complete moratoriums on facial recognition are beginning to rescind the law because of its infeasibility. Lawmakers should opt for legislation that creates strong privacy protections while still allowing Montanans to benefit from its use. This will prevent legislators from having to go back to square one like other states have been forced to do.
Montana Leads On Building Innovations
This week Montana became the first state to give broad regulatory approval for 3D printing in construction. This innovative model of construction can lower costs by as much as 30%.
Our Take: By focusing on cutting unnecessary red tape, Governor Gianforte’s administration is working to make housing less expensive and more abundant in Montana. This is further evidence that focussing on red tape relief can spur innovation and provide major benefits for Montanans.