Port: School choice bill should give private school parents the same tools public school parents enjoy


MINOT, N.D. — School choice policies are a very good idea.

Education in our nation is compulsory, but unless you’ve achieved a certain degree of affluence, you don’t have much of a choice regarding which schools your children attend. You pretty much have to go to whichever public school is closest to you.

A school choice policy aims to expand those choices, for everyone, by making public dollars available to follow a pupil to whatever nonpublic school their parents may choose.

House Bill 1532 , introduced by Rep. Claire Cory, a Republican from Grand Forks, aims to fund school choice. The bill, which has already passed the House on a 54-40 vote, would allow parents to get a third of the per-pupil state aid the state makes available in their school district, as calculated in section 15.1-27-04.1 of the North Dakota Century Code .

The money would only be available for schools, not home-schooling, and the public funds could only be used “to offset the cost of qualified education expenses the program participant or parent would otherwise be obligated to pay.”

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