On Monday afternoon, Agudath Israel of America’s national director of state relations, Rabbi A. D. Motzen, joined three national experts on school choice in Nashville for a special hearing of the Senate Education Committee. Each of the panelists were invited by Chairman Dolores Gresham (R- Somerville) to focus for 30 minutes on one aspect of the topic. The hearings continued Tuesday with three additional experts.
Rabbi Motzen’s testimony covered the topic of “Private Schools and School Choice.” The other presentations covered the history, constitutionality, and effectiveness of school choice. The purpose of the testimony was to provide committee members with a review of the issue in advance of 2016. More importantly, Chairman Gresham wanted the hearing to serve as an authoritative review of school choice issues so that House and Senate members can view the archived videos when questions are raised about these policies.
Following the hearing, Senator Brian Kelsey (R – Germantown) was interviewed by journalists and expressed his belief that 2016 will finally be the year to pass his Opportunity Scholarship bill since the new chairman of the House Finance Subcommittee, Speaker Pro Tem Representative Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville), is a co-sponsor.
Agudath Israel looks forward to working with school choice advocates and community leaders in Tennessee to make Senator Kelsey’s dream a reality.