Government money may go to private schools
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Government money may go to private schools

Date: January 23, 2012
By: Mark Hodges
State Capitol Bureau

A new bill in Missouri's legislature may take government money and give it to private schools.
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Wrap: A bill allowing government money to go to private and religious schools brings questions about the role of government in private education.

Among those supporting the measure is Jefferson City Republican Representative Jay Barnes.

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Description: "SJR47 only touches on the constitutional amendment enacted in a wave of virulent anti-Catholicism, anti-immigrant fervor in the 1800s."
Some legislators argue there needs to be an alternative to the public school system, particularly for districts struggling in the past few years.
But on the other side, some Democrats say they oppose the bill because it would weaken the public school system.
Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

Public school funding may soon be going to private schools.
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Wrap: New legislation would repeal a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of government money for private and religious schools.

Republicans argue the bill would put an end to religious discrimination in education,

But Springfield Democratic Representative Sara Lampe, who is a former school teacher, criticizes the bill.

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Description: "It is unfair to suggest that that state money, even through a scholarship, could go to a private institution."
She says the change would put a strain on public schools that are already struggling financially.
She also says it would be a poor choice to try and put the bill up for a public vote this November.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

A Senator from St. Charles County has laid the groundwork for what could be a war between state and religion in Missouri's statehouse.
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Wrap: The bill would permit the state to help fund private schools, even with religious ties.

Republican State Senator Scott Rupp sponsors the bill.

He says the legislation would give students a private option that could be better.

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Description: "What do we care more about? Do we care more about providing a high-quality education to students, or do we care more about continuing the bureaucracy of an institution? And I think that's the heart of the matter."

But on the other side of the issue, opponents say the bill would create funding problems for already-struggling public schools.

This legislation is similar to legislation that died in the House last year.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

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