AUSTIN, Texas -

A Texas House panel is discussing a bill already approved in the Senate that seeks to expand the number of charter schools licensed to operate statewide.

The Public Education Committee heard testimony Tuesday night on Senate Bill 5. It raises the number of charter schools licenses from the current 215 to 305 by September 2019.

Sponsored by tea party Republican Sen. Dan Patrick, the bill cleared the Senate 30-1 earlier this month. There may be more opposition in the House, however.

Some committee members expressed concerns that the measure takes the authority to authorize new charters away from State Board of Education and gives it to the education commissioner.

Meanwhile, Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton asked many witnesses endorsing the bill "how exactly will this improve public education?"