RICHMOND--A proposed constitutional amendment that would have given the state more say in establishing charter schools has died in a House committee over concerns that cities and counties would wind up footing the bill.

The bill was part of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's education reform package.

Republicans and Democrats alike were uneasy over what Democrat Del. Mark Sickles described as possibly 'the mother of all unfunded mandates.' The measure died Friday on a bipartisan 9-12 Privileges and Elections Committee vote.

The bill was intended to jump-start creation of charter schools, which receive public funding and must meet accountability benchmarks but can operate more like private schools under certain less restrictive rules.

Republican Sponsor Scott Lingamfelter said lawmakers could specify state funding limits in legislation after the amendment is ratified.

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