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POLL SHOWS SUPPORT FOR ALTERNATE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Americans broadly favor Presidents Bush's proposal to provide $1,000 "scholarships" for poor and middle-income parents to send their children to any public or private school, an Associated Press poll found.

The poll also found strong support for parental choice among public schools.

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Sixty-three percent favored President Bush's proposal of a program to give scholarships that could be used at any school, including religious institutions.

Supporters say public schools will be forced to improve if they have to compete. Opponents, including presidential candidate Bill Clinton, say the plan is an election-year gimmick and that tax money should not subsidize parochial schools. However, many Democrats including Clinton support parental choice among public schools.

In the poll, 68 percent said parents should be able to choose which public school their child attends.