News & Updates
LAUREL, MT—Today, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The ruling overturned a Montana Supreme Court decision and concluded an 11 year battle to bring school choice to the Treasure State. The decision was a huge victory, not just for Montana students and their parents, but for students in 37 other states that have similar religiously discriminatory language embedded in their state constitutions.
The effort to bring school choice to Montana began in 2009 with a Tax Credit Scholarship Bill written by the Montana Family Foundation. It took six years for the bill to pass, plus another five years for litigation.
Montana Family Foundation President, Jeff Laszloffy, applauded the decision saying “The Supreme Court today righted a 131 year old unconstitutional wrong that had its roots in anti-Catholic bias”. Laszloffy went on to say, “This decision was a huge victory for Montana kids and clears the way for Montana to join 42 other states that allow students the freedom to choose a school that fits them best.”
At issue was a Tax Credit Scholarship Bill that passed the 2015 legislature. The Montana Department of Revenue said the funds could be used by students to attend any school of their choice, except private religious schools. This is classic viewpoint discrimination and lawsuits were immediately filed.
We expect that, as a result of today’s decision, many more school choice bills will be introduced in the next session of the Montana legislature. When options in education become numerous, kids win, parents win and taxpayers win.
Whether your current “homeschooling” efforts are just temporary until life goes back to normal and schools reopen or if you are rethinking the educational choices for your family, rest assured, you are and always have been your children’s primary teacher and you are uniquely qualified for the job. I hope the resources shared below will help you plan happy, meaningful, and educationally rich experiences for your children in the coming weeks.
- Blogs written by homeschooling mothers not only provide useful resources like suggested books, websites, printable worksheets and activities, but they also offer practical tips for organizing the day and inspiration for weary parents. Check out Simple Homeschool, Hip Homeschool Moms, and Practical, by Default (this blog is specifically for working moms). These mom bloggers all include encouraging articles for parents having to adjust to life as temporary homeschoolers because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Home School Legal Defense Association, a nonprofit ministry founded to defend and advance parental rights and the freedom to direct their child’s education, has a wealth of information and links for both new and veteran homeschoolers, including help for struggling learners, advice for teaching every grade, and preparing kids for college.
- Kahn Academy is an online platform that provides free, high quality educational videos that allow students to work at their own pace. Their lessons cover K-12 math through early college, grammar, history, and more.
- Prager University makes exceptional short videos that promote Judeo-Christian values and critical thinking on current issues. The educational content in their videos is ideal for middle and high school students who are learning to navigate the world of ideas, by helping students identify key issues and learn about trending news stories.
- Online homeschool communities like Homeschool Compass and Teach Them Diligently include grade specific tools and resources for parents, ranging from how to teach math and language arts, to topics like how to manage your time to meet all the demands of home and family.
- MassHOPE is a state-wide organization that supports and assists Massachusetts homeschool families. They host an annual convention with dynamic speakers and a vendor hall where parent educators can purchase curriculum. Their website also lists affiliated groups all over the state where homeschooling families can find community and ongoing support.
Thank you to our sister organization the Massachusetts Family Institute for the resources above!
Billings City Council Endorsements
As most of you know, the Billings City Council has been targeted for takeover by the Democrat Socialists of America. If they win, they’ve promised to raise your taxes and pass a LGBT non-discrimination ordinance (NDO). They are well-funded and aggressive. Just look at the numbers of mailers you’ve received in the past few days.
We can stop them, but it won’t be easy. I’m asking you to do three simple things.
- VOTE. Please look at our list of endorsed candidates below, then fill out and return your mail-in ballot.
- URGE your friends and family to do the same.
- EMAIL the members of your church, civic groups and work colleagues and share this list of endorsed candidates.
The turnout in city elections can be as low as 38%. If we don’t vote, they win by default. Please complete your ballot and mail it in. Right now if possible, and feel free to call us with any questions.
Thank you so much.
Jeff Laszloffy President/ CEO
Ward 1: John Armstrong
Ward 2: Roy Neese
Ward 3: Aldo Rowe
Ward 4: Pam Purington
Ward 5: Mike Boyett
P.S. Please don’t wait. Please mail your ballot today, right now if possible: It’s that important!
For a more in-depth look at each of the City Council Candidates, you can visit here – Big Sky Worldview Forum/Billings City Council
Montana Family Foundation