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Expanded voucher system approved by Arizona Senate

The Arizona Senate has reversed course and approved an expansion of a school voucher program that allows students to use public funds to attend a private school.

SB1363 failed on a 15-14 vote Thursday because it lacked accountability standards but was brought up for a second vote Thursday night and passed 16-13. Democratic Sen. Barbara McGuire changed her vote.

The House previously approved the bill and it now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

The program established in 2011 was also expanded last year. Only students with a disability, whose parents are in the military or who attend very low-performing schools qualify.

The new bill adds kindergartners and increases funding for students who leave charter schools for private schools. The program is being challenged in court.

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