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Snyder wants to know if tax-exempt savings can be used for private school tuition

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Attorney General Bill Schuette is being asked to decide whether a state-sponsored tax-exempt college savings plan can also be used for private K-12 school expenses. The new federal tax law allows it. But the Michigan Constitution says the state cannot provide direct or indirect financial support for private or religious schools.

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked for an official opinion on whether holders of Michigan Education Savings Program accounts can use them for private school tuition.

“We need to provide guidance to those account owners to figure out whether this includes private K-through-12 expenses with state income tax benefits,” said Tanya Baker, Snyder’s deputy press secretary.

The attorney general is reviewing the request.

“We will be doing so in a timely manner, and will be responding to the governor’s office following a review of the current Michigan Constitution and current statute,” said Andrea Bitely, the attorney general’s press secretary.
If the answer is “yes,” public school groups could file a lawsuit challenging the opinion.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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