Senate committee approves charter school bill

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama Senate committee has approved a charter school bill, but not before striking language that some feared would allow completely “virtual schools.”

The bill by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh could get a Senate floor vote as soon as next week.

The bill allows up to 10 “startup” charter schools in the state each year and allows school boards to convert existing schools.

Proponents say charter schools will provide innovation and opportunity. Opponents questioned the accountability of the schools.

The House Judiciary Committee also debated, but did not vote, on a bill to give civil immunity to ministers and others who refuse to participate in same-sex weddings. The committee also debated a bill to bring back the electric chair if the state could not obtain lethal injection drugs.