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Divided Florida House votes for plan to shift students

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons
Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House is signing off on an ambitious $200 million plan to shift students from chronically failing schools to charter schools run by private organizations.

The House on Thursday voted 77-40 for a bill that would offer up money to build "Schools of Hope" in neighborhoods, many of them in urban and poor areas. State senate leaders have said they are willing to consider the proposal.

Republicans said the legislation will help children now stuck in failing schools. But Democrats criticized the bill and said the state should be spending money on traditional public schools.

The legislation is a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

The schools would be within 5 miles of or in the zones of existing traditional public schools that have repeatedly earned low grades.

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