- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona House and Senate leaders have scheduled debates on a proposal expanding a school voucher program to all Arizona schoolchildren over the next four years.

The proposal from Republican Sen. Debbie Lesko has been stalled for nearly two months as opposition from a handful of GOP lawmakers and all Democrats left the measure short of the needed votes.

Senate and House debate is now set for Thursday. That’s often a sign that backers believe they have secured the needed votes.

The Legislature’s independent budget office estimated in February that expansion could cost more than $24 million because more public school students are likely to take state cash for private schools.

A cap that expires after 2019 limits current enrollment to about 5,500 students.

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