School Vouchers

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State education officials say the use of public money for private schooling in Kentucky probably would require a constitutional amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month upheld school vouchers in Cleveland. But an analysis by the Kentucky Department of Education says the Kentucky Constitution goes farther in restricting the use of public school money.

At least three sections of the Constitution deal with school funding. All seem to preclude its use for anything other than public schools.

The department's general counsel, Kevin Noland, says merely passing a bill appears not to be enough. But a sponsor of tax-credit legislation in past years says the Supreme Court ruling has generated widespread interest in the subject.

Republican Representative Bob Heleringer of Louisville says he thinks the issue will arise again in the 2003 General Assembly. House Majority Leader Greg Stumbo says he agrees. Stumbo says he, too, thinks people who send their children to private schools should get some type of tax break.