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Arizona House to debate voucher program expansion

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PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona House will debate a bill that could vastly expand the state's voucher program that allows students to use public funds for a private education.

The House will debate House Bill 2291 by Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Peoria on Monday.

The bill expands the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and to those whose family income exceeds that eligibility by 15 percent.

The bill would make nearly 600,000 Arizona students eligible for the program but limit it to 5,400 new students per year. Opponents say it's likely Republicans will get rid of the cap. They say public funds should not be used at private institutions that cannot be held accountable. Supporters say parents should have a choice in their children's school.

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