Voucher program bill for private school education passes ND House

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 9:09 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There’s good news for people who have children in private schools.

The North Dakota House of Representatives passed House Bill 1532, which would create a voucher program allocating public funds to families who send their children to private schools. The bill would have the state pay up to 30% of the cost of tuition for students to attend private schools, which has lawmakers divided.

“Right now, our public schools are underperforming, yet we spend more and more tax dollars on them. And the results are getting worse, as evidenced by a continual decline in proficiency levels,” said Representative Lori VanWinkle, R-Minot.

“Public schools accept and foster the education of all students. Not just because it’s required by law, but because it’s the right thing to do. As a result, public education’s reputation is tarnished in today’s media,” said Representative Jim Jonas, R-West Fargo.

Those opposed to the bill also say it seems to conflict North Dakota Constitution which says, “No money raised for the support of public schools of the state shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.”

The bill passed by a vote of 54-40. Next, it heads to the Senate.

Previous Coverage: ND Legislature considers voucher program bills for private and home school education