skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

MT teachers union files pair of 'school choice' lawsuits

play audio
Play

Monday, February 26, 2024   

Montana's largest teachers union has filed two lawsuits against "school choice" measures in the state.

Montana lawmakers passed House Bill 393 last year, creating Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) that would allow parents to use public money to pay for kids' private school tuition.

Montana's is a little different than similar ESAs around the country, in that it applies only to special education student tuition.

Montana Federation of Public Employees President Amanda Curtis said funding the ESAs can't help but affect public school students.

"The voucher scheme will defund Montana's public schools," said Curtis, "which takes away the constitutional right of every Montana kid to a free, quality public education."

Curtis added that in order for a special education student to receive state money in an ESA, the family has to waive its right to federal special-ed benefits - which she contends also unconstitutional.

Supporters of ESAs say they can better meet their children's educational needs outside the public school system. Thirteen states have some form of ESA, and the movement is growing nationwide.

The union has also filed suit against House Bill 562, which creates a charter school system in Montana - with schools that would not be governed by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, but by a group of parents and school staff.

Curtis said the state would have no oversight of such a commission, which has prompted opposition by the Montana Quality Education Coalition - considered the "heavy hitters" in Montana public education.

"It's the School Boards Association," said Curtis. "It is the school administrators. It is all of the rural educators. It's superintendents from every single class of school - nearly every school district - across the state."

Supporters of the charter school measure - like ESA proponents - say as taxpayers, they want more more choice in how to educate their kids using money that would otherwise go to public schools they aren't using.

Both suits await action in state court.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Coal production in the Powder River Basin was 50% lower in the first quarter of 2024 than the first quarter of 2014, by about 49 million tons. (Robert Coy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new policy could affect the future of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and in turn, Wyoming's tax structure. The Powder River Basin produced …


Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…


Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Michigan consistently ranks high as a state for contact volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with the 11th-highest rate in the nation in 2023. (Africa Studio)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

 

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