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Sandoval Signs Bill Creating Private-School Scholarships

Lance Iversen / AP

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks after his swearing in ceremony during his inaugural ceremony on the front steps of the capital in Carson City, Nev., Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

Lance Iversen / AP

(AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed a bill that authorizes scholarships so low- and middle-income families can afford private school.

The Republican governor signed AB165 on Monday at the Fourth Ward School in Virginia City. Republican lawmakers stood behind Sandoval in the 140-year-old building as he declared that Nevada now has true school choice.

The scholarships give companies credit toward their modified business tax bill if they donate to a qualifying scholarship organization. Scholarships would go to students whose household income doesn't exceed 300 percent of the poverty level.

Democratic opponents say the scholarships divert money from public education and are not targeted enough to the lowest-income families.

The bill caps state tax credits at $10.5 million over two years, and limits scholarships to $7,755 apiece.