Updated: Jul 21
Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill that creates Education Savings Accounts for special needs children in Montana.
The breakthrough - HB 393 - passed overwhelmingly in both the Montana House and Montana Senate.
HB 393 allows 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.
Most credible, major studies have concluded that educational outcomes improve when education choice is permitted - not only for students taking advantage of education choice, but also with those who did not.
"A review of the empirical research on private school choice finds evidence that private school choice delivers some benefits to participating students—particularly in the area of educational attainment—and tends to help, albeit to a limited degree, the achievement of students who remain in public schools."
-Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 91, Issue 4
Education Savings Accounts for special needs children was one of the recommendations MSPC made in our Education Choice Improves Outcomes report in January.
Unfortunately, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington could not advance education choice bills in their latest legislative sessions.