- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill aimed at creating a new system to review and change the state’s academic standards.

The sweeping education bill, a top priority of Senate Republicans, cleared the chamber on a near-party line vote Wednesday. Democrats opposed it along with one GOP senator, Brandon Smith of Hazard.

Republican Sen. Mike Wilson says the measure would unburden teachers from time-consuming program reviews, letting them focus on teaching. Another key part of the legislation would create a multi-tiered system to review academic standards and assessments every six years for possible changes or replacement.

Democratic Sen. Gerald Neal says Kentucky is already making progress in education. He says lawmakers should take more time to study the issue and receive feedback from educators.

The measure heads to the Democratic-led House.

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