Gov. candidate Sheheen criticizes private school choice

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Democratic nominee for governor is criticizing his opponent's efforts to help parents send their children to private school.

Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen said Wednesday that would further damage public schools already hurt by deep budget cuts and teacher layoffs. Sheheen says it's time for the state to move beyond that debate and support public education.

GOP state Rep. Nikki Haley has been a strong supporter of helping parents afford private tuition through tax credits. The idea has divided GOP legislators since Gov. Mark Sanford began pushing it in his first term. The Legislature has repeatedly rejected it.

Haley has said she would veto any school choice bill that doesn't include private schools. Her campaign accuses Democrats of wanting to spend more on bureaucracy.

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