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House approves bill on textbook funding

SANTA FE — The state House late Friday passed a bill that would limit the use of public money for textbooks and instructional materials at private schools.

The legislation, House Bill 45, would allow New Mexico to allocate money for textbooks for private-school students, but only after sufficient funds have been made available to public schools.

The proposal would also prohibit an allocation to private schools that discriminate based on gender, religion or certain other grounds.

Democrats said the bill would ensure the state doesn’t shortchange public schools.

Republicans said the conditions imposed in the bill would make it difficult or impossible for private school to benefit.

The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, now heads to the Senate.

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