Leading advocacy team applauds Idaho for ending school zoning discrimination

Cole Valley Christian Schools in Meridian and Boise, Idaho, one of 157 private schools in the state, infuses scripture into every subject, not just Bible class, and gives children the opportunity to connect with God outside of daily classwork.

Editor’s note: This news release appeared Wednesday on yes. every kid. website.

In response to Gov. Brad Little’s signature of Senate Bill 1125 expanding public school access by ending discrimination against students based on their ZIP code, an advocacy group with a families-first approach to expanding the country’s education policy landscape, had this to say:

“Access to a great school should not be determined by a family’s income or where they live,” said Craig Hulse, executive director of yes. every kid. “With Gov. Little’s leadership and bipartisan support from the Idaho Legislature, the state has taken critical steps toward creating a truly student-centered education experience by opening up public schools so a student is no longer limited by ZIP code and can access more educational options.

“This is a much-needed opportunity to modernize learning and streamline the ability for children to attend a school that meets their individual needs.

“We thank Gov. Little, Sen. Lori Den Hartog, and Rep. Wendy Horman for their unwavering commitment to Idaho families and look forward to working together to continue advancing public policy that respects the dignity of every kid.”

Idaho’s Senate Bill 1125 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, reflecting families’ growing desire for more opportunities other than the district school they are assigned to attend.

SB 1125 rewrites the state’s open enrollment law for the first time in three decades, removing barriers that prevented students from accessing the right school that’s best for them. The law will:

  • Require all school districts to adopt a mandatory within-district and cross-district open enrollment policy
  • Reinforce equal treatment by prohibiting school districts from discriminating against a students’ race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status
  • Allow students to more easily transfer by eliminating existing legal barriers
  • Allow families to enroll their children in school at any time of the year
  • Prohibit districts from charging families tuition for public school
  • Increase transparency by requiring districts to publish how many spaces are available
  • Create an appeal process for students who have been denied a transfer
  • Prohibit districts from transferring students without the notification or permission of the parent

Now signed into law, SB 1125 cements Idaho’s status as a national leader in ending school zoning discrimination.

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BY Special to NextSteps