By Chris Woodward, The Center Square

Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed legislation aimed at enhancing educational opportunities for Montana families. 

House Bill 203, sponsored by Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, standardizes open enrollment in Montana’s public schools. Now, parents cannot be denied by their home district if they want to send their children to another school. 

“A child may be enrolled in and attend a school in a Montana school district that is outside of the child’s district of residence at the request of the child’s parent or guardian,” the bill reads.

Gianforte said in a statement that parents  “deserve to have their voices heard and to be a part of their kids’ education, including by pursuing the education that best meets the needs of their son or daughter.”

“I’m proud House Bill 203 promotes parental choice within our public school system while ensuring taxpayer fairness in cases where parents decide to have a child attend public school outside their place of residence,” Bedey said. 

The Helena-based Frontier Institute also applauded the legislation.

“Prior to the signing of HB 203, parents seeking to enroll their child in an out-of-district school faced a litany of barriers,” Frontier Institute Communications and Outreach Director Tanner Avery told The Center Square. “HB 203 represents an important step towards ensuring Montana parents can choose an education option that best fits the needs of their child.”


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