Hundreds of private and parochial school students rallied for greater school choice Monday at a Capitol Square demonstration that also drew Republican lawmakers, the governor and attorney general.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) called on the students to lobby the General Assembly for the passage bills that would encourage private businesses to pay private school tuition for low-income students.

The bills would offer tax credits to corporations that provide scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools. Opponents fear that the measure would open the door for tuition vouchers for parents.

“We still need a few votes,” McDonnell told the crowd. “I’m gonna work it as hard as I can.”

Del. James P. Massie III (R-Henrico) sponsored the bill in the House. Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) proposed its Senate counterpart.

Obenshain got the biggest cheer from the crowd by asking: “Are you happy to be out of school today?”