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The Voucher Referendum

The Voucher Referendum

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

A lot of powerful interests want to overturn Utah's new school voucher law through a voter referendum. KSL views the effort as a waste of time, energy and means.

As a long-time supporter of public education, KSL has never championed the idea of using precious tax dollars to subsidize private schools. And we're not convinced the new voucher law will lead ultimately to significant improvements in education in Utah, as proponents adamantly claim.

Still, the voucher law passed only after many years of intense public debate and strategic compromises. Proponents won the legislative battle fair and square. Now the proof of their optimistic claims "is in the pudding."

With passage of the law came a number of safeguards, including a late-session amendment to fully audit the program after five-years. If the voucher program isn't working as touted - if public money is being squandered - the public will know it and lawmakers will be held accountable.

Besides, the history of referendums in Utah is bleak. Utahns, it seems, are reluctant to legislate from the ballot box. And polls suggest support for overturning the voucher law, though significant, is not overwhelming.

There's no need to put the community through such a divisive and futile battle.

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