AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved a bill offering taxpayer-funded vouchers that allow some special education students to leave public schools for private alternatives.

Supporters say only about 30,000 students would qualify. Those opposed worry that it will open the door to broader voucher plans.

The Senate has for years backed vouchers only to have them soundly defeated in the House. There, Democrats and rural Republicans oppose any plans they say hurt traditional public schools.

The proposal passed 19-12 on Monday is similar to one the Senate attached to a sweeping House school finance bill during Texas’ regular legislative session that ended in May. Doing so resulted in both bills stalling.

It’s now back for the 30-day special session — even though it likely remains a House non-starter.