A proposal to provide state vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools in Tennessee has cleared a House committee where the measure has failed in recent years.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville cleared the House Finance Subcommittee on a voice vote on Wednesday.
Opponents of the measure complained that the vote was being held while Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville, a longtime opponent of the measure, was absent to have surgery.
Dunn said the state costs of the proposal will be covered in Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's budget this year.
House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley warned of what he called the "devastating effect" of shifting funding out of public school funding to pay for the voucher program.