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Ed choice breakthrough in Montana - ESA's for special needs children

Updated: Jul 21

The Montana Senate today signed off on a bill to provide Education Savings Accounts for special needs children. The vote was 26-24 on second reading. The final tally was 28-22.

HB 393 had already passed the House by a vote of 66-32.

HB 393 would allow parents who choose to sign up funds (roughly $6,800) for their child that can be used on private school tuition and fees, textbooks, curriculum, tutoring, education therapies, transportation and other education related expenses. It can be a tremendously helpful tool for parents who might not have the resources they need to get their child the extra help he or she requires.

The bill now goes to Governor Gianforte for his signature.

Senator Sue Vinton, the sponsor, deserves major credit here. At a recent hearing, opponents used the same tired arguments that they have tried in other states.

Luckily for special needs children, the arguments were not successful.

As we have previously written, education choice can be incredibly successful for children who take advantage, as well as those who remain in the typical K-12 setting.

Now, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming need to try to advance this ball down field.

While states including Florida, Iowa, Arkansas, Utah, Arizona and now Montana have expanded choice to improve outcomes, many other states seem to be stuck in neutral.

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