Lawmaker backs off proposal to sponsor students for tax write-off

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A state lawmaker now says he likely won't run a bill that would allow people to sponsor failing students in exchange for a tax write-off.

Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, posted his idea on Facebook and Twitter early Tuesday morning, which sparked a heated debate. The proposal would allow a private citizen or private organization to donate money to a failing student for a tax deduction. The student then could use the money to go to a private school.

Some compared the sponsorships to the 2007 idea of school vouchers, a comparison Wimmer was trying to avoid. In 2007 state lawmakers wanted to grant $500 to $3,000, depending on family income, for each child sent to private school.

Many people who commented on Facebook said they support Wimmer's idea. Wimmer says instead of running the bill this session, he'd like to use social media to generate more ideas and discussion.

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