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MTG: Lawmaker seeks to ease ban on church school

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 12:07:56-05

An Eastern Idaho lawmaker wants to amend Idaho’s Constitution, to ease prohibitions on using state funds for religious schools.

The proposal from Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) involves the Constitution’s so-called “Blaine Amendment.” This section of the Constitution prohibits the Legislature and local governments from using public funding to pay for any school, university, college or educational institution “controlled by any church.”

Meanwhile, one lawmaker worried the proposal could pave the way for creating a statewide tuition voucher system.

Nate — who teaches at Brigham Young University-Idaho, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — said his amendment is necessary to allow students to continue to use the state-funded Idaho Opportunity Scholarship to attend religious schools such as Northwest Nazarene University or BYU-Idaho.

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