skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

MT teachers oppose special-ed voucher program

play audio
Play

author Mark Moran, Producer-Editor

 Contact

Monday, January 29, 2024   

The union that represents Montana teachers opposes a move to legalize private school vouchers in the state.

Educational Savings Accounts, or ESAs, are growing in popularity around the country. ESAs allow people to use state money to pay private school tuition.

House Bill 393, which Montana lawmakers passed last year, is slightly different than in other states - in that the money would be limited to tuition vouchers for special education students.

Montana Federation of Public Employees' President Amanda Curtis said using state money for private school leaves students without the protection of the Montana Constitution.

"This voucher system literally takes money on a 'per-kid' basis," said Curtis, "which de-funds the public education system and denies students their constitutional right to access a quality public system."

Supporters of the measure say students with special needs often do better at home or in private schools than in public schools. The Montana Legislature will next convene in 2025.

Thirteen states have passed some version of ESA program, but Curtis contended the movement will ultimately fail on the national level.

She said she thinks Montana will follow suit, because the state's decisionmakers have jumped on a trend and been influenced by outside groups.

"I am constantly concerned about some politicians in Montana," said Curtis, "allowing our policy decisions to be influenced by the national political rhetoric."

In most states that have passed them, ESAs are projected to cost the state more than double what the legislatures budgeted for them, effectively taking that money directly out of public school budgets.

Curtis said she has vowed to challenge Montana HB 393 in court.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021