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“Participation in those programs in voluntary,” he said. “The key is that no one is forced to participate and the taxpayer has free choice where to donate their funds, so you don’t run into the Blaine Amendment barrier.”

Franklin said that Teach NYS is making scholarship tax credits their priority this year. “The teachers’ unions are going to be so thrilled about it, because it means also advancing non-public schools,” he said, but he hopes that their fight against Tier 6, a proposed new pension plan that includes reductions in benefits and increases in employee contributions, will keep them busy.

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“Non-public schools get less than 1% [of state education funding] and we educate 15% of kids in the state,” he said. “You don’t have to pay us dollar for dollar, but the state should do something to recognize that we’re saving them money; we’re paying taxes and not using most of the tax money.”

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