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Lawmaker seeks private-school tax credits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon lawmaker wants to ask voters to allow tax credits to pay for tuition at private and religious schools.

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to take up the idea today, although it’s a longshot in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Boosting access to private schools would create more options for parents and improve schools by increasing competition, said Republican Sen. Betsy Close, of Albany.

She wants to let individuals and corporations earn a dollar-for-dollar credit against their taxes for contributions to pay for educational expenses, including private-school tuition.

She wants to ask voters to create an exception to the state constitution’s ban on using tax money to benefit religious institutions.

Critics say the state shouldn’t be indirectly funding private schools by allowing tax credits to divert money from state coffers.

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