National School Choice Week, January 22 - 28

Posted by Jeremy Marsh, Assistant Head of School at 1/23/2017

National School Choice Week

This week is National School Choice Week.  The goal of National School Choice Week is to raise public awareness of all types of education options for children.  Because of the benefits of school choice efforts like Montana Senate Bill (SB) 410 for Stillwater students and families, our school is joining other schools across the country in recognizing and celebrating school choice this week.

In this blog post, I want to briefly highlight some encouraging things that are happening both at the national and state/community level related to school choice.

Last week, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, began hearings related to her confirmation.  A product of Christian schooling and longtime advocate for school choice, Ms. Devos stressed the importance of giving parents choices her opening statement:

Betsy DeVos

Ms. Devos has not yet been confirmed; her likely confirmation is certainly an encouraging development for our nation’s educational landscape.

Here in Montana, the legislature is in session.  Early indications are that Montana legislators will introduce a bill improving S.B. 410, which allows organizations like Big Sky Scholarships to accept tax-advantaged donations from Montana taxpayers.  In addition, our legislature may again introduce a Special Needs Educational Savings Account (ESA) bill to provide greater choice to parents of students with special needs.  Related to those efforts, the Montana School Choice Coalition, of which SCS is a part, is holding a rally at the State Capitol building this Wednesday at noon.

This Wednesday was also to be the day of the next hearing in the case of Espinosa v. Department of Revenue dealing with the constitutionality of SB 410.  As we reported last week, however, that hearing has been indefinitely delayed pending the assignment of a new judge to the case.  We are hopeful that the eventual outcome of this case will be a permanent injunction against the DOR’s attempt to block use of SB 410 funds by Christian and other religious schools.

One thing is clear: there is great demand for more school choice not only in our country but also here in Montana.  Let us, this week especially, celebrate the progress that’s been made and resolve to continue to support efforts that will enable more parents to choose to attend Stillwater Christian School and others like it.