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Updated Jun 13, 2013 - 5:16 pm

Expanded voucher system rejected by Arizona Senate

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate has rejected an expansion of a school voucher program that allows students to use public funds to attend a private school because it lacked accountability standards.

SB1363 failed on a 15-14 vote Thursday with a no vote from Republican sponsor Sen. Barbara McGuire.

The House had previously approved the bill.

McGuire said she'll bring the proposal back next year with a way to make sure students are held to standards.

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

The new bill added kindergartners and increased funding for students who leave charter schools for private schools. The legality of the voucher program is being challenged in court.

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