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Senate panel OKs Jindal education bills

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BATON ROUGE - The Senate Education Committee has approved the two major pieces of Gov. Bobby Jindal's education agenda.

One establishes a statewide private school voucher program and paves the way for easier creation of charter schools.

Another overhauls the role of school boards, superintendents and principals in the hiring and firing of teachers. It also toughens the requirements for teachers to earn tenure and eliminates seniority protections for teachers when layoffs are made.

Both bills have passed the House. The voucher bill faces review in a Senate committee on Monday then both will be ready for full Senate debate.

Neither bill was amended in Thursday's meeting. If Jindal allies can win passage of the bills without amendments on the Senate floor the bills could get to Jindal's desk late next week.

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