(Note: Existing language is shown in normal type. Language to be eliminated is
striked out. Language to be added is shown in UPPER CASE.)
The policy objective with respect to amending the existing language of Article VII, Section 2, is to eliminate the prohibition on tax credits for nonpublic schools while maintaining the prohibition on vouchers.
Suggested revisions to the existing Article VIII, Section 2:
Section 2. The legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin.
No public monies or property shall be appropriated or paid
or any public credit utilized,by the legislature or any other political subdivision or agency of the state directly or indirectly to aid or maintain any private, denominational or other nonpublic, pre-elementary, elementary, or secondary school. No payment, credit, tax benefit, exemption or deductions,tuition voucher, subsidy, grant or loan of public monies or property shall be provided, directly or indirectly, to support the attendance of any student or the employment of any person at any such nonpublic school or at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to such nonpublic school students. The legislature may provide for the transportation of students to and from any school.
These modifications eliminate all barriers to tax credits and maintains the prohibition on vouchers. A prohibition on vouchers is important due to the fact that survey results show that public support for tax credits is much stronger than support for vouchers. As discussed previously, although vouchers would accomplish the objectives of parental choice and would improve the existing assignment system, they are less preferable to tax credits.