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Education Sparks fly as Senate panel debates school vouchers

Sparks fly as Senate panel debates school vouchers

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

WILL WEISSERT,Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State senators are trading barbs as the chamber’s Education Committee debates a high-profile school voucher bill.

Dan Patrick chairs the committee. His Senate Bill 23 offers tax credits to businesses that establish scholarships to help low-income students leave poor-performing public schools for private or religious ones.

It would let firms write-off all of their business margin taxes, but caps the total value of scholarships at $100 million.

Patrick said Tuesday that could help 10,000 students change schools.

But the Houston Republican spared frequently with Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat who said Texas shouldn’t divert funds from cash-strapped public schools.

The bill has yet to reach the House. But lawmakers there have already voted overwhelmingly to keep public funding in public schools — potentially threatening any major charter plan.

 

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