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Alexander to file bill encouraging school choice

Monday - 1/27/2014, 6:40pm  ET

AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander wants billions in federal education dollars to be made available to low-come families to send their children to a public or private school of their choice.

Alexander planned to introduce a bill Tuesday that would pay the $24 billion annual price tag by redirecting 41 percent of federal education money.

Alexander is a former U.S. education secretary. The planned bill filing comes the same day President Barack Obama delivers a State of the Union speech, thereby drawing a contrast to the president's plans. Many Democrats oppose such school choice measures, but they are more widely accepted among Republicans.

Under Alexander's plan, about $2,100 in scholarship money would go annually to eligible families to use for private school tuition or for public schools such as charter schools.

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