Senator files much-anticipated scholarship bill

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

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Patrick, a Houston Republican, says "voucher" is an outdated term.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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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