Kendall Cotton: Pandemic uncovered the failings of one-size-fits-all training | Columnists

Freedom of education is the obvious solution: Let the educators choose how they teach and the parents the best education for their children. Allow parents who would like their school to require masks to select schools that apply such guidelines. And give the same choice to other parents who are concerned about the effects of masking their children.

The problem for most Montana children is that the education available is still determined by their zip code. While some privileged parents can afford private school tuition and others can teach at home, most working families in Montana have an opportunity in the local public school system – funded by their hard-earned tax dollars. It is understandable why parents are so passionate about how this school system raises their children.

With public schools simply unable to please everyone amid pandemic politics, there is growing support from Democrats and Republicans for more freedom in education. A recent nationwide poll found that 76% of Democrats were in favor of allowing parents to take their children’s government-funded education funds to a private or home school elsewhere if their public school system does not mandate masks. This spring, a survey near where you live found that 65% of parents in Montana agree that they should be able to choose the type of school that best suits their child.

Policy makers in states like Florida have responded by allowing parents concerned about their school’s mask mandate to use government-funded education funds to transfer their child to another public school or private school that will serve them better . West Virginia went further this spring by approving a program that allows all students to fund state education funding so families can pay for the educational expenses of their choice, be it private or public school tuition, curriculum, special treatment, or transportation.


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