TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has approved a bill to restore job protections for public school teachers that conservative Republican legislators took away four years ago.

The House's 73-48 vote Thursday sends the measure to the Senate.

It would guarantee tenure for teachers statewide who've worked in a district for three years or in multiple districts for a total of five years. Districts not wanting to renew a teacher's contract would have to allow the matter to be settled by independent hearing officers.

A law pushed through the Legislature by GOP conservatives in 2014 allowed local school boards to decide whether to grant such "due process" rights. Less than a third do.

The bill's supporters said guaranteeing tenure statewide respects teaching. Opponents said local control makes firing bad teachers easier.