AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The head of the Texas Senate Education Committee has filed a highly anticipated bill offering business tax credits for donations helping poor children leave public schools for private ones.
Tea party-backed Sen. Dan Patrick has spent months clamoring for expanding "school choice" but waited until Friday - the last day to file bills this legislative session - to offer his proposal.
It allows firms to get up to a 15 percent state tax credit for donating to nonprofits who provide funding so low-income and at-risk children can leave traditional schools for private and religious alternatives.
Critics call it a voucher system, funneling money away from struggling public schools.
Patrick, a Houston Republican, says "voucher" is an outdated term.
House Speaker Joe Straus says any scholarship bill is unlikely to pass.
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