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Parents kick off campaign in favor of school vouchers

SHARE Parents kick off campaign in favor of school vouchers

Parents for Choice in Education officially kicked off their pro-voucher campaign Friday in what advocates say will be an uphill battle.

Legislators, voucher supporters and families gathered on Friday night for a "Family BBQ," allowing community members and leaders to mingle and learn more about the voucher issue.

PCE chairman Doug Holmes said that a grass-roots and word-of-mouth effort will make the biggest difference when it comes to getting the word out about what the law will actually do.

But most Utahns oppose a voucher program, according to a recent Deseret Morning News poll. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed said they would most likely vote against a voucher program, while 36 percent said they would vote for it.

The voucher program, which was approved by the Legislature this past spring, would provide Utah families with a private-school tuition voucher ranging from $500 to $3,000 per student based on the parents' income.

It also would appropriate $9.2 million for mitigation money to hold schools harmless for five years after a student leaves and goes to a private school.

The anti-voucher group Utahns for Public Schools successfully gathered enough signatures for a referendum that would allow Utahns to decide whether they want a voucher program. As a result, the law is now on hold pending a Nov. 6 vote that will determine if the measure will stay on the books.

E-mail: terickson@desnews.com