- Montana Republicans on the state's house education committee passed a bill Wednesday that would allow charter schools to open.
- Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen spoke about how the state's parents and families yearned for more innovative opportunities outside of the traditional public school system, which is bound to the Common Core.
- Estimates from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning believe it would cost the state about $1 million annually to fund charter schools.
The news comes days after Alabama's governor signed into law a bill allowing the state to also open charter schools. If Montana also approves the schools, there will be only six states left that do not allow them.
There are a few things about Knudsen's statements that stick out, though. For one, he implied that charter schools could be more innovative because they are not tied to the Common Core. This is incorrect. If a state adopts the Common Core, every school receiving public dollars (whether it be traditional public or charter) is held to the standards and the chosen state test. The additional irony, of course, is that many of the advocates for the Common Core (the Gates and Broad Foundations, etc.) are also advocates for charter schools.
Then there are statements like, “I won’t deny that one of the main thrusts of this is to remove significant oversight from the Board of Public Education, I think, in exchange of that, what you’re getting is a system that can function both more efficiently and with a lot more accountability than traditional public schools.”
The question here is how kicking out a democratically elected board of public education and putting in a board appointed behind closed doors translates into "a lot more" accountability? These are questions for Knudsen to perhaps ponder.