Article IX, Section V of the Idaho Constitution protects taxpayer dollars from benefitting religious institutions, including private religious schools. While the creation of a state voucher system may be a boon to private schools, it will cause untold harm to public schools and students, and it will completely disregard key religious-liberty principles safeguarded by the Constitution’s framers. Read bill text here.
While HB 590 does not directly create a state-funded voucher system, it opens the door to make it easier for public taxpayer dollars to be moved out of Idaho’s public schools, and instead used as tuition scholarships for private religious schools. Make no mistake – voucher programs masked as “tuition tax credits” still cause the same harm by redirecting direly needed resources for public education away from students and teachers.