A split among Republicans blocked a proposal from conservative Kansas lawmakers to allow parents of academically struggling students to pay for private schooling with state dollars normally earmarked for public schools.

A bill that ties public school funding to the proposal failed on a 20-20 vote in the Senate.

The bill would set up education savings accounts for students who are at risk of failing in public schools.

Parents could use the funds for a wide range of educational expenses to help their children, including private school tuition.

The measure included Governor Laura Kelly’s proposal for $5.2 billion in state aid for public schools for 2021-22.

Nine Republicans joined the Senate’s 11 Democrats in voting against the measure.

GOP conservatives now must draft a new proposal, and work to win over at least one dissident Republican in the Senate if they’re to get a bill passed this year.