Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?


Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?


State Constitution

Art. 10 § 1. It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state….The legislature shall provide a basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools.


In Montana, attendance zones could be vulnerable to a challenge based on the promise in the state constitution that
“equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.” A state district court ruled that education is a “fundamental right,” but—in Helena Elementary School District v. State—the MT Supreme Court specifically declined to confirm or overrule the lower court’s finding.

Open Enrollment

None found.

Voluntary for districts. Both sending and receiving district must approve. Mandatory under certain limited conditions.Mont.Code § 20-5-320

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

None found.

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

None found.

Charter School Admissions

No charter school law. But Montana Administrative Code rule 10.55.604 allows districts to petition for the creation of charter schools and requires that they must have “unrestricted, open student access.”There are very few charter schools in Montana.