AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has advanced a school voucher plan using taxpayer funds to help parents send their children to private and religious schools instead of public ones.
Tea party Republicans have long championed spending state funding to promote "school choice," arguing that competing for students will improve struggling public schools.
Approved Monday 18-12 over Democratic objections, the plan allows businesses to donate half of what they'd pay in state corporate taxes to educational nonprofits.
Those groups would then provide scholarships to families worth up to around $6,000 for use on private schools.
It requires a final, procedural Senate vote before heading to the House. There, though, there's bipartisan support to keep public money in public schools.
Still, voucher bills hadn't previously made it this far, poised to clear the Senate.
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