The Georgia State Senate decisively rejected voucher legislation, by a vote of 29-20.

The Georgia Senate on Tuesday again rejected private school voucher legislation that would have offered annual subsidies to students who switched from public schools.

Senate Bill 601 failed 20-29 — an even wider margin than the rejection of a similar bill in 2019.

The new bill would have set aside $6,000 per year toward the private education of students who leave public school. The money, which would no longer have gone to the public school, could have been used to offset the student’s private school tuition or pay for associated private or home-school costs, such as fees, tutoring, curriculum, therapy, transportation or a computer.

“This is an opportunity for us to give students that are trapped in school systems that are underperforming an opportunity to move forward,” Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, said while presenting his bill on the Senate floor.

He introduced it despite House Speaker David Ralston’s announcement last month that he was blocking two similar House voucher bills. The Blue Ridge Republican was angered by a national voucher advocacy group that bombarded conservative voters with political mailers likening Republicans to liberals if they didn’t support the measures.

Georgia currently has a tax credit voucher program. House Republicans wanted to double the funding for this program to $200 million, but the Senate blocked that measure.