Kendall Cotton: The pandemic exposed the flaws of one-size-fits-all education | Chroniclers

Freedom in education is the obvious solution: let educators choose how to teach and parents choose the best education for their children. For parents who want their school to require masks, allow them to choose schools that adopt such policies. And give the same choice to other parents concerned about the effects of masking their children.

The problem for most Montana kids is that the education available is always determined by their zip code. While some privileged parents can afford tuition at private schools and others can take home classes, most working families in Montana have an option in the local public school system – funded by their taxes. hard earned. It’s understandable that parents are so passionate about how this school system educates their children.

With public schools simply not being able to keep everyone happy amid the pandemic politics, support is growing among Democrats and Republicans for more freedom in education. A recent national poll showed 76% of Democrats were in favor of parents being able to transfer their child’s state-funded education dollars elsewhere to a private school or home if their public school system does not require wearing masks. This spring, a poll closer to home showed 65% of parents in Montana agree they should be able to choose the type of school that is best for their child.

Policymakers in states like Florida have responded by allowing parents concerned about their school’s mask mandate to use state-funded education dollars to transfer their child to another public school or a private school that serves them better. West Virginia took it a step further this spring by allowing a program that allows public education funding to follow all students, allowing families to pay for whatever education expenses they choose, whether it’s tuition, program, special needs therapy or transportation fees.

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