(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.