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Senator says Arizona education department is misspending

PHOENIX -- An Arizona senator says the state Department of Education has been misspending money.

A Senate committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow the department to give an extra $1,684 to $1,963 to each student in the program. But an official with the department admits it's already doing that.

Some say that violates current statute which allocates extra money strictly for former charter school students.

The Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts give students 90 percent of the state's basic per-student funding for public schools to use for private school tuition, home-schooling and expenses like tutoring. Opponents say the program is unconstitutional because it uses taxpayer money for private education. The Arizona Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear an appeal to a lower court's finding that the program is constitutional.

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