Montana Families Are Fighting for School Choice

Should a program that provides scholarships to private-schools exclude religious institutions?


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In Kalispell, Montana, three families have joined forces with the Institute for Justice to bring school choice to the region. 

In May 2015 the state of Montana created a scholarship program for families who couldn't afford to send their kids to the school of their choice. The program relied on donors to donate money for the fund. In return, the donors would receive a modest tax refund of $150. 

The problem came when the Montana Department of Revenue passed a ruling that denied the scholarship money to children who attended religious schools.

"I wanted to have input based on the values that I saw were important." said Kendra Espinoza, part of one of the families being represented in the suit. "I think every parent has that right to be able to say, 'I want my kids to be able to go to this school or that school.'"

Produced by Alex Manning. Field producer Paul Detrick. Additional camera by Joshua Swain.

About three minutes long.

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