An effort to create a school voucher program in Tennessee has cleared its last major committee before a full House vote.
The House Finance Committee voted 11-10 on Tuesday in favor of the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville. The Senate has already passed its version of the bill, and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said earlier Tuesday that he plans to sign the measure into law if it remains unchanged from its current form.
In Rutherford County school voucher talks has been touchy. Tennessee Watchdog wrote on Watchdog.org that Rutherford County School Board Member Wayne Blair is dead against the idea of school vouchers. The same article released in December of 2015 named Aaron Holladay as someone who is running against State Representative Mike Sparks to specifically fight school voucher legislation in Tennessee. Sparks represents the 48th District and lives in Smyrna.
A January 20th article in the Murfreesboro Post suggested the entire school board of Rutherford County is against school vouchers. The article by Connie Esh showed that school board member Jeff Jordan stated "There's no way our group of legislators could misunderstand where we stand on this issue," explaining that he and the rest of the board had attended meetings with the lawmakers and told them they oppose this piece of legislation.
Under the bill, the voucher worth about $7,000 would be made available to parents of children eligible for free or reduced lunch who attend schools ranking in the bottom 5 percent statewide. The program would grow by 5,000 students in each year until reaching 20,000 students.
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Tennessee Watchdog at Watchdog.org