Haslam's school voucher bill headed to full Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is headed for a full Senate vote.

The measure was approved 8-2 in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Haslam originally sought to limit the vouchers -- or so-called "opportunity scholarships" -- 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 companion bill would expand eligibility to the bottom 10 percent of failing schools if slots are left. That version has stalled in the House Education Committee, mainly because of opposition to further expansion of the measure.

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