Utah repudiates voucher plan

Nov. 7, 2007
Voters reject proposal that would have provided up to $3,000 for private school tuition.

Voters in Utah have decisively rejected what would have been the nation's most far-reaching education voucher program. Unofficial results showed that more than 60 percent of voters were rejecting vouchers. The program, supported by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Republican legislative leaders, attracted national attention because it would have provided tax-funded subsidies to any student, rich or poor, to enroll in a private school. The law passed by a single vote in the Legislature, but voucher opponents, led by the Utah Education Association, gathered 124,000 signatures to force a voter referendum. The plan would have offered tax-supported subsidies of $500 to $3,000 - depending on family income - for each newly enrolled private school student.
Click here to read The Salt Lake Tribune article.

EARLIER: Voters in Utah will decide today whether to approve a school voucher program. The proposal would provide between $500 and $3,000 per eligible student, depending on family income and size. Families could use the money to pay for tuition at private schools. Utah has 118 private schools, but only 75 of those schools enroll enough students (a minimum of 40) to participate in the program, according to the State Office of Education.
Click here to read The Salt Lake Tribune article.

The Utah State Board of Education has refused to begin a school voucher program using an incomplete version of state law creating the program. The decision could speed a Utah Supreme Court decision on vouchers. In deciding not to begin the voucher program, state school board members ignored the advice of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Shurtleff says it means he can't defend the board's decision if someone challenges it in court. The original law cannot be put into effect because a successful petition drive shelved it pending a Nov. 6 referendum. Voucher supporters want the state school board to offer vouchers in the meantime. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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