COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)- The South Carolina House gave key approval to an education voucher bill with a 79-35 vote.
The bill would send money to families through a scholarship account program to expand eligibility for private school vouchers.
Up to 15,000 students would receive up to $6,000 a year to pay for private school tuition along with other expenses.
The proposal will cost about $30 million next year and could cost as much as $90 million if the program reaches capacity.
Opponents of the bill said the state should focus on improving public schools before sending students to private schools.
Legal issues are expected if signed into law because the South Carolina constitution prohibits using public money to benefit private education.
Supporters of the vouchers said the program doesn’t send money directly to private schools, it sends it to a state-funded account that parents can access which is an indirect payment.
The bill heads to Gov. Henry McMaster who has promised to sign it into law.