Education Freedom In Montana: Next Steps
"In order for new education options to be created in Montana, a number of factors must first occur to create an ecosystem which will support and encourage permissionless innovation in education."
Now that Montana officially expanded its school choice laws, does that mean we will automatically have robust education options?
As School Choice expert Benjamin Lindquist explains in a report released today with the Frontier Institute, titled Building a Vibrant School Choice Ecosystem in Montana, passing laws to allow for more school choice are just the first step.
While passing these new laws certainly was a remarkable achievement, their passage certainly doesn’t mean we will see new education options overnight. In order for new education options to be created in Montana, a number of factors must first occur to create an ecosystem which will support and encourage permissionless innovation in education.
So what exactly is necessary to create this School Choice Ecosystem?
Identify The Needs and Expand Resources
Whether it’s a Community Choice School, a private school or another innovative education model, these education options do not happen in a vacuum. They need a variety of tools and support for them to become a reality.
A number of elements will need to be present to ensure success, such as assistance navigating the regulatory process, tools to help understanding community needs and for some schools, help finding and maintaining a brick-and-mortar location.
Look To Assistance From Organizations, Parents and Entrepreneurs
Facilitating the elements necessary for a successful school choice environment will come from a variety of actors. For example, organizations, parents and entrepreneurs can all play a role in new education programs by assisting with everything from cultivating school leadership to connecting education leaders with grantmakers.
Understand The Landscape
Before launching efforts to facilitate these necessary elements, Montanans should first understand what needs are already being met and which still need to be met. The report details some current groups providing resources, as well as some ideas for groups that could provide additional support.
Think Beyond School Choice
Transforming Montana into a place with an education option that will fit the needs of each student will require more than just new legislation or better support systems – it will require fundamentally transforming how we view school choice. While the terms school choice and education freedom are often used interchangeably, they are distinct concepts. On one hand, school choice empowers families with the ability to choose between a limited array of existing, government-backed education options. On the other hand, true education freedom is a system of permissionless innovation where both families and educators have the ultimate freedom to cooperate and create education models tailored to meet the unique needs of any child.
These things won’t happen overnight and they won’t happen on their own – it will take advocates like you and I working together to make Montana the home of Education Freedom.
Celebrating Education Freedom Victories
On July 13th, Education Freedom advocates will be coming together to celebrate recent victories during the 2023 Legislative Session. Hosted by Americans For Prosperity Montana, the event will take place at the Doubletree Hotel in Billings at 6:00PM.
Solving the Wildfire Crisis Through Good Business
In this month’s forest management column, Policy Director for the Property and Environment Research Center, Hannah Downey explores how private businesses can work to address the wildfire crisis.
“While the federal and state government oversee many wildfire prevention and suppression efforts, private businesses are also emerging as much-needed leaders in the space.”
Money Alone Won’t Solve The Wildfire Crisis
In a column that appeared this week in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore explained how even with the large uptick in funding, forest management projects are struggling due to delays. “As much money as we’re receiving, it’s not enough to take care of the problems that we are seeing, particularly across the West,” said Moore.
Our Take: Money alone will not solve the wildfire crisis. If leaders want to increase the scale and speed of forest management projects then they must address the red tape and frivolous lawsuits that are delaying vital forest management projects.