Lee meets with freshman Republicans to make case for vouchers

Gov. Bill Lee delivers his first State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee met with freshman Republicans in the House on Tuesday morning to make the case for his proposal to create a voucher-like education savings account program in Tennessee. Word is he got a positive response from the group.

The meeting comes as the Lee administration looks to dial back the ESA legislation by removing homeschooling from the measure. The bill is scheduled for a key House Education Committee vote on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, parents would be given $7,300 debit cards to spend on education-related expenses. That’s raised concerns about accountability, especially given the example of Arizona, where where an audit last year found parents had spent ESA money on non-authorized purchases ranging from movies to beauty supplies.

23 Responses to Lee meets with freshman Republicans to make case for vouchers

  • Christina Norris says:

    Lee needs to go back to the drawing board on this issue. As is, this is a massive transfer of public dollars to private schools. The bill has no fraud prevention, will give money to middle class kids who not attending failing schools, and has no built-in accountability. It’s way off target.

    • Cannoneer2 says:

      No one seems to have a problem with massive transfers of public dollars to private corporations in this state. There is very little accountability there either.

    • Lenny says:

      It’s pure socialism. AOC would be proud. Why should my sales taxes go to welfare debit cards?

      • MarLE says:

        Where is any study to demonstrate that these “escapees” from public education do any better academically in their New Setting. This has been done in many states already and my recollection si that data does Not show much if any improvement.

        • Lenny says:

          I bet you’re right. The only reason to support this is if you live in an eligible county and can get a $7,300 debit card government handout that can be used for anything.

    • MarLE says:

      So if your parents have been a bit successful (not rich by any means), then their child should stay but a poor kid gets to take the state’s money and run? A moderately well-off family can certainly not afford private school for multiple children, esp if they are facing college costs post-high school.

  • James White says:

    Let everyone be able to use them for Home Schooling. Use it to pay teachers for Home Schooling.

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    Speaking of spending Tennessee’s public dollars, there is a bill that’s currently in the General Assembly that would increase the transparency of ECD financial incentives to incoming corporations, but the only place I’ve seen mention of it is the Tennessean. All other “Watchdogs” are asleep.

    • Lenny says:

      This has been covered extensively by the Tennessee Star. Oh wait, Bill Lee is a Republican? Never mind, they never mentioned it.

      • MarLE says:

        The TN * has been dogging Lee since he got into the race and beyond. It is never about being Dem or Rep to them; it is a personality thing, always!

        • James White says:

          I have found the TN * ( i like that) to be very Republican and very NeoCon.

          • MarLE says:

            Only for Republicans that the owners like.

          • MarLE says:

            They back a candidate, it seems, before the race begins and the positive coverage of that candidate defies all norms of journalism in its lack of objectivity. Opposition is either bashed or ignored…not much in between. Looks less like reporting and more One-Sided to me. What’s the word for that………..????

          • Eddie White says:

            The Star is very conservative. The Republican Party is relatively conservative. That might help explain Try reading The Tennessean if you want something more Democratic.

          • MarLE says:

            My objection is not about being more or less Republican or Democrat. It is about journalistic integrity and presumption that at least Some measure of objectivity should apply to political candidate stories. When the candidate of their choice (made before the campaign gets underway) has 100% positive front page, banner Headlines for mundane reasons, day in and day out…..that is NOT reporting. That is campaign literature masquerading as local news. When it comes to local politics this is the opinion blog of the 2 owners, one of which is not only a commentator but the political Editor. What legit news outlet has the owner write the commentaries (and mention himself in the 3d person) AND be the Traffic Cop for all political stories, And personally Profit from all political advertising? When it comes to local politics it is the Personal Blog of 2 people because they control the content, much of which covers the very political candidates who advertise with them.

          • James White says:

            MarLE , I would like to think that President Trump would call the TN * Fake News !

  • William Upton says:

    Might want to think about funding home schooling. I know of people who have taken trips to Disney and called it a “field trip”. There is a lot of fraud and little accountability in home schooling.

  • Lenny says:

    $7,300 government handouts on a debit card. What could go wrong?

  • Donna Locke says:

    You can ignore any “polls” on this. When the polled hear all the pesky details of anything, ideas change.

    • MarLE says:

      Too bad the “polled” never did develop a curiosity for the “details” of Trump’s tax plan. There’s a lot there Not to love, but so far no one has cared.

      • Donna Locke says:

        Yeah, polls are misleading on complex issues. Immigration questions, for example, leave out many details. When people hear the details and projected consequences, etc., if they ever do, they’re like “Wait a minute . . .” Much the same thing occurs in Israel when Israelis are polled and many say they favor a two-state solution. When the details are explained, these folks say, hey, no, they don’t favor those details. Ideas often sound good in a general, idealistic way, but the execution of the ideas can bring uncontemplated consequences, some of which have proven disastrous.

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