This Wednesday at 3PM, the Montana state legislature will hear a bill that will allow Montana to become a charter school state. I feel very passionate about seeing this bill turned to law. Especially after returning to Montana after living out of state for nearly 6 years; my return has made me acutely aware of how limited our choices are in Montana.
When we lived here before, our three kids were all home educated so “options” weren’t something I needed to consider. (I appreciate very much our homeschool laws in Montana, btw.)
My reasons were homeschooling were simple: I could meet my children’s needs via their learning styles and interests. They are now all teenagers and some of those needs have changed. Two of the kids attended a public school in TN and overall it was a positive experience. But I was concerned over them continuing….growing class sizes, increased gang activity at the school, No Child Left Behind mandates. (One principal told me with a laugh, “I refer to is as ‘No School Left Standing.’”)
So I was absolutely delighted to find out about American Heritage in Cottonwood, AZ when we moved there last year. This small charter school was started by homeschool parents and exemplified many of the things I was looking for in educating my kids: Emphasis on American History, classical literature, and a “Love and Logic” approach in the classroom. The four-day school week was the cherry on top.
But alas, some circumstances played out and we are in Helena again. And the lack of choice here is staring me in the face. Our budget does not permit private school. And while there are many excellent teachers in the public schools here, I am concerned over what is happening in the classroom. (Not the least of which is the deeply offensive sex ed curriculum set for implementation this fall.)
Having tasted of an excellent charter school, I know we can do better by our kids.
If you’re able to, please come to an informational meeting this Tuesday at 7PM at the Residence Inn here in Helena. We’re going to have some national experts there. I know I’m looking forward to learning a few more things.
This is all about choices!