AUSTIN, TX (KAUZ) - By WILL WEISSERT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has approved vouchers offering public money to children attending private and religious schools - but only after including a major exemption for rural areas.
Sen. Larry Taylor's bill appeared stalled before he agreed to make wholesale changes. It no longer applies to communities with fewer than 285,000 residents.
Taylor wants to create state-subsidized education saving accounts for parents while offering tax credits to businesses that sponsor private schooling via donations.
The revised version passed Thursday after hours of sometimes emotional debate in the GOP-controlled Senate. It still faces a tough road in the House.
So-called "school choice" has long been defeated by House Democrats and rural Republicans wary of harming public schools that are top employers, and social and cultural centers, for the small communities they represent.