Public school open enrollment bill to Senate floor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A state Senate committee has passed a bill that would allow parents to send their children to public school outside of their school district.

The bill is heading to the Senate floor after it was passed Wednesday by the Education Committee. It is similar to a 2012 bill that received key approval in the Senate before running out of time when the session ended. A similar bill in 2007 was vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford.

The bill would create open enrollment for public schools throughout the state by the 2015-16 school year, with some exceptions. Out-of-district students could not exceed 3 percent of a school's enrollment and schools could turn down applicants if they were at capacity.

The bill calls for a pilot program to be created next school year.

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