House votes against bill making all reservation students qualified for school vouchers

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PHOENIX — The Arizona House has rejected a bill allowing children who live on Indian reservations to qualify for a private school voucher.

Senate Bill 1332 is designed to give children on reservations more school choice. It is backed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a social-conservative group that is a powerful lobbying voice at the Capitol.

Several tribal lawmakers who are Democrats tried to persuade Republicans not to back the legislation. Backers advanced it on a voice vote Wednesday, but it failed 31-28 on the formal vote.

Opponents of voucher expansions argue schools it takes money from regular schools already facing a tight budget year.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Carlyle Begay of Ganado already passed the Senate. He says there aren't many private reservation schools and expects few users.

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