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While school choice remained a hot issue in 1993, the most action was in the area of charter schools, according to a survey released last week by the Heritage Foundation.

The conservative think tank's annual school-choice survey found that some type of choice legislation was introduced or pending in 34 state legislatures in 1993, the same number as in 1992.

North Dakota was the only state to enact new choice legislation in 1993, bringing to 14 the number of jurisdictions with some form of interdistrict public school choice.

Puerto Rico is the only state-level jurisdiction with a private-school-voucher plan, and it was recently declared unconstitutional in the commonwealth's courts.

Meanwhile, nine states have adopted laws allowing for the creation of charter schools, which are publicly funded and licensed but free from many state and district controls. Seven of the plans were adopted in 1993 or early 1994.

The Heritage survey also found growth in privately sponsored scholarship programs that help low-income students attend private schools, noting 15 such plans, up from six in 1992 and two in 1991.

Colorado Choice: A private-school-voucher plan that proponents hope to place on the Nov. 8 election ballot in Colorado has survived a legal challenge.

The initiative would require the legislature to set up a program giving parents vouchers that would vary with family income.

Dan Morris, the president of the Colorado Education Association, filed the challenge, arguing that the title and official summary of the measure are misleading. The state supreme court ruled unanimously last month that the proposal is legal. But proponents still must gather 50,000 signatures by August.

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