AUSTIN -- The chairman of the state Senate Education Committee acknowledged Tuesday that his sweeping school voucher plan faces a tough road to becoming law, and he asked key supporters to pray for it.Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is a leading advocate for "school choice." He wants to offer tax credits to businesses that provide scholarship funding to help low-income students leave poor-performing public schools for private or religious ones.At a committee hearing, Patrick said the proposal would allow firms to write off 100 percent of their state business margin taxes but would cap the total value of all donations at $100 million. Up to 10,000 students might be able to transfer out of public schools, he said.Patrick argued that affluent families can move to ensure their children attend strong public schools, while poor ones are held hostage by their ZIP codes."I don't know why we'd say ... to someone who's in poverty, to that working mom, 'You don't have the same rights as someone with more zeros in their bank accounts,'" Patrick said.He called religious-school operators and church leaders to endorse his bill before the committee, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston."I realize the mountain is very high, and I realize we're going to need a lot of prayer from everyone who was in front of us today," Patrick said.Later, his voice cracking, he said, "I may go down fighting on this issue, but I will never apologize for trying to reach out and help families who are desperate for a future for their children."Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, sparred with Patrick, arguing that private schools can choose which students to take, ensuring that some youngsters will be forced to remain in public schools, which will struggle even more as they lose funding to private ones.She also noted that the bill could force taxpayers to fund schools whose religions they may not support, even asking whether the Nation of Islam could get public funding if it wanted to operate a school in Texas.Patrick shot back, "I'm not going to play the religious game with you."