The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools celebrates the filing of HB 562, The Community Choice Schools Act, a bill that will introduce public charter schools, charter authorizers, and charter funding to Montana. Charter schools are public schools that are free and open to all students and are a critical part of the U.S. education system, serving 3.7 million students with 7,700 schools and 220,000 teachers. Montana is one of five states in the country without public charter schools, and Sue Vinton (R-District 56) is sponsoring the bill. According to the National Alliance’s Charter School Model Law, HB 562 would be ranked as one of the strongest laws in the nation.
“We are thrilled to support this bill and hope to see it pass in both the House and Senate this session,” says Nina Rees, President and CEO of The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Every parent should have the right to send their child to a high-quality public school of their choice, and we are excited that Montana families and students may finally have more options.”
According to a recent poll conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling that surveyed 550 Montana residents in eight counties, only 15% of respondents describe the quality of their local public schools to be excellent, and 56% of parents and grandparents with a child in school support or strongly support the establishment of charter schools in Montana.
“In Montana, less than half of students in public schools are proficient in language arts, and only one-third are proficient in math. Clearly, there is a need for higher quality public education,” says Monica Berner, parent and advocate. “Parents should have a choice of schools, regardless of their reasons why.”
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