AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has voted to oppose taxpayer dollars going to private and religious schools - expressly forbidding state funding for vouchers.
Thursday's 103-44 vote came during the House's larger budget debate and could kill a sweeping "school choice" bill approved by the state Senate last week.
Republicans control both chambers but while many senators see vouchers as a civil rights issue that helps poor children leave failing public schools, the House has repeatedly defeated any proposal that could hurt funding for traditional classrooms.
House Democrats opposing vouchers typically team with Republicans from rural communities, where schools are top employers as well as social centers offering football and other popular activities.
Anticipating opposition, the Senate voucher bill exempted communities with fewer than 285,000 residents. But overwhelming House opposition didn't wavier.
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