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VOL. 38 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 21, 2014

Senate panel approves school voucher bill

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the Senate.

The measure was approved 8-1 in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

The Republican governor originally sought to limit the vouchers to students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. Under the new version, if there are not enough students for the available slots, then eligibility would be opened to low-income students in districts that have a school in the bottom 5 percent.

The legislation differs slightly from the House version, which would expand eligibility to the bottom 10 percent of failing schools if slots are left.

Lawmakers in both chambers say they hope to work out the differences so a school voucher bill can pass this year.

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