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Time for Idaho Students to Get the Full Range of Options They Need

*This bill did not pass. Keep an eye on IWN for more info on what’s next.

Idaho parents, help is finally on the way in the form of an education policy that will actually empower parents and make it easier to hold public schools accountable.  

The Idaho Senate bill 1161 will expand the Empowering Parents Grant Program for K-12 students in Idaho. This bill creates “tuition grants” that can be used for academic instruction and strengthens  “microgrants” that parents can use for eligible education expenses, tutoring, transportation, textbooks, and therapies. 

Idaho’s students must be allowed to escape the residentially-assigned public schools that are not educating them. The proposal provides approximately $6,000 for “tuition grants” for academic instruction and $1,000 for “microgrants” for eligible education expenses each year for each child. Lower-income families will receive priority for the grant distribution. Public school and rising kindergarten students who are not already enrolled in a private school or homeschool would be eligible to leave the public school system and access tuition grants.

More than three-quarters (74%) of Idaho parents support empowering parents to directly access and direct a portion of their child’s K-12 funding.  It’s no wonder so many parents want this for their child. When we empower families with educational options, we best serve the unique talents, strengths, and interests of children. When students thrive in the educational system that best fits them, they go on to do amazing things. 

Over thirty states have similar programs in place and state legislatures around the nation are actively considering numerous education freedom bills. It’s time for Idaho families to expand education freedom as well.

Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.” Rather than argue that Idaho already has sufficient choice, while promoting conventional policies, Idaho leaders should realize how much more opportunity can come to the state and acknowledge that ESAs have a role to play, too. It’s high time Idaho students get the full range of options they need.

Tell your Idaho state legislators to support tuition grants and SB 1161.

Your voice matters in this conversation and legislators need to hear from parents now. 


Here are even more resources to bring education freedom to parents in Idaho.

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