AUSTIN, Texas -

Parents could more quickly urge closure of failing public schools -- or their conversion into charters -- under a proposal advancing in the Texas Capitol.

The Senate voted 26-5 Wednesday to overhaul Texas' "parent trigger" law. The changes now head to the House.

The state can currently intervene in schools with persistently low test scores. A majority of parents may petition a school board for changes if scores don't improve -- but the process can take six years.

The proposal by Republican Sen. Larry Taylor of Friendswood would allow parents to directly petition the state education commissioner after three years of low scores.

Democratic Sen. Eddie Lucio of Brownsville suggested unsuccessfully that parents be required to prove a record of participation in PTA meetings to participate in the petitions.