Haslam's school voucher bill advances in House

8:39 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the House.

The measure carried by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga was approved 9-4 in the House Education Committee on Tuesday. The companion bill is set to be heard in the Senate Education Committee next week.

The legislation would limit the program to 5,000 students in failing schools in the academic year that begins in August and grow to 20,000 by 2016.

A competing initiative being discussed by some lawmakers seeks to broaden the number of students by not limiting participation to low-performing schools.

Several special interest groups are spending millions of dollars to try to persuade lawmakers to pass a proposal that goes beyond 5,000 students.

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