Governor Gianforte Expands Educational Opportunities for Montana Students

Governor's Office
  • May 08 2023

HELENA, Mont. – Delivering on his pro-student, pro-parent, pro-teacher education agenda, Governor Greg Gianforte recently signed a bill into law to empower Montana parents to pursue the education that best meets the needs of their child.

"Parents are our kids’ first and lifetime teachers," Gov. Gianforte said. "As they educate their kids at home, they 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."

Educational Opportunities

Gov. Gianforte visiting with students at a public elementary school in Helena

Sponsored by Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, House Bill 203 standardizes open enrollment in Montana public schools. It also ensures the financial responsibility for a child’s public education remains with their home district, should parents elect to send their child to a public school outside of their district.

Previously, taxpayers in the district of attendance would assume the associated tax burden or districts would require families to pay tuition for their child. Under this new law, home districts provide funding to the district of attendance for a child’s education.

Additionally, the new law ensures parents cannot be denied their request to send their child to another school by their home district. Districts of proposed attendance may only deny requests based on limited, specified circumstances provided for in the new law.

“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,” Rep. Bedey said.