Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Annual School Choice Week will begin on Monday, January 21.

KGVO News reached out to Shelby Doyle, Vice President of Public Awareness with the National School Choice Awareness Foundation for top of the trees details about school choice in Montana for her perspective.

School Choice Advocate says Montana 'Made the Biggest Strides' in Legislature

“I would say of any state in the nation, Montana made the biggest strides in school choice advances and expansions in the 2023 legislative session and a lot of that is going to go into effect this school year, the 2024 to 2025 school year so it's a great time to think about school choice,” began Doyle. “If you're a parent in Montana I can run you through what you need to know real quick on what's changed.”

Doyle provided more details about the different choices for parents in Montana.

Doyle says More Choices are now Available Throughout the State

“There's some level of more choice in almost every type of school in the state,” she said. “To back up for a second, we track open enrollment in traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private online and homeschooling options as a part of this giant umbrella of what we call school choice.”

With some aspects of school choice still tied up in the courts, Doyle said parents do have more freedom to move their children to a different public school.

Doyle said Parents No Longer need to Pay to Change Public Schools

“In some places, parents who wanted to choose a traditional public school that was different than the one that they were assigned to, were finding that to be an out of pocket fee to go to that other traditional public school,” she said. “That's no longer going to be possible to charge families if they want to choose a traditional public school other than the one to which they’re assigned. That's great news for parents because we know even in these school choice rich environments, people still are interested in traditional public schools.”

KGVO News has reached out to Missoula County Public Schools for their comments on School Choice Week. No one was available as of Thursday.

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