In a disappointing turn of events, Tennessee State Representative Bill Dunn (R- Knoxville) announced on Thursday that he wasn’t confident that he had the necessary votes to pass his school voucher bill. Legislators on both sides of the issue were expecting a long floor debate featuring almost two dozen amendments after a scheduled vote was pushed off from Monday. Instead, Rep. Dunn shared his frustration in a brief speech and then asked for the bill to be placed on the clerk’s desk – indefinitely postponing a vote on the proposal. Earlier in the week, Rep. Dunn had publicly declared his willingness to limit the statewide voucher proposal to a Shelby County program, but that wasn’t enough to win the votes he needed.
Invoking biblical references, Rep. Dunn delivered a scathing rebuke aimed at some of the bill’s opponents. He accused them of only being worried about “our money”, but not about “our kids” and later accused them of lying about the effects of the bill.
“Agudath Israel of America commends Rep. Dunn for his perseverance in the face of many obstacles,” said the organization’s national director of state relations, Rabbi A. D. Motzen. “We urge the Tennessee House to listen to the pleas of Tennessee families who have waited far too long for Opportunity Scholarships.”
Agudath Israel of America is part of a coalition of advocates that has promoted the idea of a broad school choice program in Tennessee for many years. Rabbi A. D. Motzen, testified in support of school vouchers at a special Senate hearing on the topic a few months ago.
Click below to watch Rabbi Motzen give testimony in TN