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Voucher bill fails to move forward in state Senate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A voucher bill that would let parents use taxpayer money to spend on private schools has failed to get enough votes to move forward in the state Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga, would have let students in failing school districts use the vouchers.

There weren't enough votes in a Senate Education Committee to move the bill forward Wednesday. The bill could potentially be revived if Gardenhire could persuade lawmakers to change their mind.

The measure needed five "yes" votes to advance. Four lawmakers voted "yes." Four others passed and one lawmaker voted "no."

The General Assembly is also considering a measure that would create a five-year pilot program for vouchers in Shelby County only.