Private- and home-school tax breaks advance in state Senate

<p>Photo: CPR/Hart Van Denburg</p>
<p>The gold dome on the Capitol in Denver.</p>

The Republican-controlled state Senate is moving forward with a new tax credit for parents who home school their children, or send them to private school, but the bill faces significant opposition.

Supporters of the bill, sponsored by GOP Sen. Kevin Lundberg, argue that it’s only fair to give parents back some of the tax money the state saves when it doesn’t have to educate their children in the public school system.

Senate Democrats oppose the private and home schooling tax credit, saying it effectively sends public money to schools that don’t have to follow state education rules -- a back-door attempt to create vouchers.

Analysts estimate the private school tax credit would cost Colorado tens of millions of dollars a year. Either way, the bill is not expected to pass the state House, which is controlled by Democrats.