TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – The state Senate has passed a bill expanding Florida’s school voucher program for students with disabilities. Now it goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate on Monday voted 28-9 for the bill (HB 1329) that previously had passed the House.

The McKay Scholarship Program currently provides public funds so 21,000 students with physical and learning disabilities can attend private schools.

The bill could add thousands more with lesser disabilities such as asthma, allergies and diabetes.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat, argued against the bill. She said it unnecessarily takes money from public schools for students whose ailments can be controlled in a traditional classroom setting.

School districts would lose basic funding for each voucher student but not money spent on accommodating their disabilities.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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