AUSTIN, Texas -

The Texas Senate has passed a bill requiring schools to place video cameras in special education classrooms to help protect students from abusive teachers.

Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, says his panel heard heartbreaking testimony from parents of special needs children who were beaten in their class.

Patrick says the cameras cost up to $700. He says they would provide evidence of abuse and also protect teachers from false accusations.

A few lawmakers questioned why the state wasn't paying for the cameras instead of putting the expense on school districts.

Patrick's bill allows schools to accept private grants to pay for the equipment. The bill ultimately passed on a 25-5 vote and now goes to the House.