Idaho Representatives Dorothy Moon and Gayann DeMordaunt are sponsoring the Hope and Opportunity Scholarship legislation designed to give public education funds to individual families for them to spend on their child’s education.

The bill calls for appropriating about $130,000 in state funds to allow families to buy things like online-learning programs, tutoring, individual classes, and extracurricular services.

“This act would allow dollars to follow students so parents could access education services environments that work best for their children,” said Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley).

There are qualifications to get that money. Eligible students could receive about $6,000 each. Critics say there is a major red flag though: The public funds could be used to pay for private school tuition.

“It’s unconstitutional,” said Rod Gramer, President and CEO Idaho Business for Education.

Gramer said voucher programs like the Hope and Opportunity Scholarship legislation are simply against the state constitution.

“The Idaho Constitution says that in Article nineSection one; it’s given the legislature the mandate to fund free uniform public schools and thorough public schools. It’s not a wish. It’s not a maybe. It’s a mandate that the legislature supports public schools,” Gramer said.

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