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Private scholarship bill headed to Idaho House

An Idaho House panel has advanced a measure that would create a new scholarship program for private schools.

However, opponents of the bill argue HB 590 is a cleverly disguised attempt to establish a voucher system in Idaho – which would violate Idaho’s constitutional ban on funneling public funds to religious or sectarian schools.

The Spokesman-Review reports the House Education Committee on Wednesday voted 9-7 to send the bill to the House floor.

Republican Rep. Julie VanOrden, chair of the education panel, was the deciding vote in advancing the measure, but said she might change her vote when the bill is up for debate on the House floor.

If approved, the scholarship program would be administered by the State Board of Education.

Eligible scholarship recipients would be limited to low-income, special needs or at-risk students, or students from military families.

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