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MADISON, Wis. -

Private schools that want to participate in Wisconsin's voucher program would have to meet new, tougher requirements under a bill that has passed the state Assembly.

Under the voucher program, students receive a taxpayer subsidy to pay for their private school tuition. The program now operates statewide, after initially being only in Milwaukee.

The proposal unanimously passed Thursday is supported by both the state Department of Public Instruction and groups that advocate for the voucher program.

The Republican-sponsored bill would require voucher schools to maintain accreditation from legitimate agencies. Previous state law only required the schools to get accreditation, but not to keep it.

That provision allowed many ineffective or unstable schools to keep getting taxpayer dollars.

The bill now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Assembly passes voucher school accreditation bill Thursday, March 20 2014, 08:06 PM CDT

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