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NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children

A high quality, robust public education system that ensures all Idaho children have the opportunity to thrive, requires robust state investment. It is well established that Idaho’s schools are underfunded (51st ranking). Decreasing the general funding of schools is detrimental to all children. As of FY 2023, Idaho’s spending on public schools is 15% lower now than it was 20 years ago (adjusted for inflation), while Idaho’s student population has increased almost 30% since 1995.


A study of 7 states from 2008 – 2019 found that each state dramatically increased its spending on voucher programs and reduced funding for public schools with little to no increase in student performance for those using vouchers. (See ICFP White Paper attached)


This bill would disproportionately harm rural schools because there is a lack of private school options in rural areas.


This bill is not fiscally conservative. Other states’ budgets have been blown up with this kind of program. There is no accountability to the taxpayer, i.e no testing, or oversight of curriculum or teacher qualifications.


Idaho already has many choices for parents within the public school system. We have traditional schools, charter schools, magnet schools, GATE programs, CTE, on- line schools, and virtual schools. Public schools have resources for special needs, whereas private schools rarely accommodate learners outside the traditional model.


Public schools must accept all children, whereas private schools can discriminate on who they accept.

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