Rally Discusses School Choice - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Rally Discusses School Choice

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It's National School Choice Week. The Montana Family Foundation held a rally tonight to explain what it is.

Organizers say School Choice gives parents the power and freedom to choose what kind of education their child receives.

"The purpose of school choice is to provide an opportunity for kids who may not do well in a traditional public school setting to have the opportunity to be educated in a setting that fits their needs," said State Rep. Kristin Hansen of Havre.

Public and private school choice programs can come in the form of charter schools or vouchers. As of now, 23 states and the District of Columbia have school choice programs.

"Our system is very restrictive," Rep. Hansen said. "You can send your child to a private school now, but the costs of that are completely born by you and there's a lot of folks in our state who can't afford that cost."

Keynote speaker Leslie Hiner says a survey shows nearly 92 percent of students in Montana go to public schools, but about half of the parents surveyed want to give their children other options.

"This is what we're looking for in Montana, to help Montana parents be empowered in that same way to know what to do to be able to help their children have many opportunities to do so," Hiner, with the Friedman Foundation, said.

Currently, there is no school choice program in Montana.

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