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House approves buying English learner software

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has approved a plan to spend millions on a software program schools will use to teach children who don't speak English as their primary language.

Republican Rep. Rick Gray's proposal passed on a 34-24 vote Thursday. It requires the state to take bids and have the system in place by next year. Gray and others backing House Bill 2485 say they were impressed by Utah's use of similar software for their English Language Learners.

Republican Rep. Heather Carter strongly opposed the bill, saying it includes a ``blank check'' to spend millions on a program that pushes one education priority over others.

The bill originally appropriated $12 million in each of the next three years, but that specific number was stripped out and left blank.

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