Tax credit programs are a viable school choice option for Idaho. Because of the restrictive interpretation of Idaho’s Blaine Amendment, the tax credit should be available to parents regardless of whether they have already paid funds to a private or parochial school. In that way, it will be clear that the credit is a refund of money for government services not used and that it is a benefit to the parent, not the school, as outlined by the attorney general’s 1997 opinion.
The Idaho Supreme Court is unlikely to uphold a voucher program that includes religious schools given that the Court struck down a statute allowing transportation of private school students at public expense as a violation of the state’s Blaine Amendment.
Model Legislation: Education Savings Account, Great Schools Tax Credit Program, Family Education Tax Credit Program
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