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Another Fight over Education Looming

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho just finished a bruising debate over reforming public education, with voters rejecting public schools chief Tom Luna’s overhaul. Come 2013, the Legislature is likely to discuss an education policy change not in that package but potentially as contentious: whether Idaho should offer tax credits to those who donate to scholarship programs meant to help students attend private or parochial schools. A first-draft in the 2012 Legislature is likely to get a renewed vetting, once lawmakers arrive in January. It’s touted by libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation, a foundation linked to economist Milton Friedman and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, to promote school choice. Some lawmakers including Republican Senate Education Chairman John Goedde worry such proposals would circumvent Idaho’s strict constitutional restrictions against using public money to fund church-affiliated schools.

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