Legislation seeking tax credits for private-school patrons is expected to surface and receive considerable debate.
The bill's likely repeat sponsor, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, says tuition tax credits would allow parents to "vote with their feet" and result in a competitive education marketplace and better schools. State education officials say such credits would drain public education coffers and bring few results.Debate on the governor's initiatives to boost literacy by requiring extra instruction for struggling first- through third-graders and set up alternative schools for disruptive or struggling junior high students also is expected.
A bill to put teeth in compulsory-education laws to curb truancy also is expected to resurface. Rep. Duane Bourdeaux, D-Salt Lake City, sponsored such legislation last year and filed a bill request for this year. Rep. Bill Wright, R-Elberta, will carry a bill to weaken or strike compulsory education in light of a court ruling favoring lesbian teacher Wendy Weaver's right to free speech.