Tennessee is one step closer to creating a school voucher program for low-income students. The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee voted 9-2 in favor of SB 999on Tuesday. Prior to the vote, Senator Thelma Harper (D – Nashville) made a passionate speech in support of public schools and against private school choice, based on the fact that her generation did not have school choice when growing up. The bill was then amended to allow students to choose a different public schools in addition to a nonpublic school. The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote.
A second pair of bills, creating education savings accounts for students with special needs, passed a House subcommittee and the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.