- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation to expand access to the state’s A+ college scholarship to private school graduates.

House members voted 136-10 Thursday to send the proposal to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The legislation would allow private schools to apply to the state to participate in the program. Students who meet grade-point average, volunteer and attendance requirements can receive a scholarship for two years of community college tuition.

Other provisions in the bill include a requirement that K-12 public schools give students the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Schools now need to make time once a week.

The legislation also would require students, in order to graduate from high school, to pass a civics exam that’s similar to tests given to applicants for U.S. citizenship.

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