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Legislator Offers Dueling Tax Break for Private Schools

Legislator Offers Dueling Tax Break for Private Schools

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For a third year, Utah legislators will take up a proposal to give tax breaks to parents who send their kids to private schools.

Now comes West Jordan Representative Steve Mascaro, who is pushing for a compromise pilot program.

Mascaro's 2-thousand dollar tax break would automatically expire after so many years -- he mentioned five to nine years.

His proposal would make private schools accountable via standarized tests.

And Mascaro says public schools should be guaranteed against any loss in state aid.

Mascaro is going up against Orem Representative Jim Ferrin, whose proposal for tuition tax credits has far fewer restrictions.

Utah Republicans, who control the Legislature, are split over the tax breaks. They haven't been able to forge compromise. But this could be the year.

Governor-elect Jon Huntsman Junior, unlike governors before him, says he's open to school choice. But Huntsman wants to start slow, perhaps with tax breaks at private schools that handle disabled kids.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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