The public school choice bill that would allow students to attend public schools in other districts, is one step closer to becoming law.

 The bill was approved 75-0-1 by the Assembly in March and was released unanimously Wednesday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. It can now be considered by the full Senate.

   "Public school choice is an important step to ensuring each child has the ability to attend a school that is best-suited to their individual needs and talents," said Mila Jasey (D-Essex), a former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education and sponsor of the bill. "More importantly, public school choice programs can improve educational outcomes for students without seeing taxpayer money funneled out of New Jersey's strong public school system."

   Meanwhile a bill that would create a scholarship program to let public school students in failing schools attend private schools is still being tweaked.  That bill would give corporations state tax credits for their donations to the scholarship fund and has been criticized as a back-door voucher plan.