Voucher applications go live amid coronavirus crisis

Applications are going live for the state’s new school voucher program amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has caused public schools to close their doors for several weeks.

Applications for the education savings accounts, or ESAs, will be accepted through April 29 — five days after Gov. Bill Lee’s current recommendation for schools to remain closed.

Lee caught many lawmakers off guard when he announced he would seek to launch the voucher program this coming August rather than wait to do so in 2021, a non-election year. But he nonetheless pressed ahead this year, even while making deep cuts to other proposed new programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a video explaining the applications process:

13 Responses to Voucher applications go live amid coronavirus crisis

  • TR says:

    This is completely tone deaf on the part of Governor Lee. Between the voucher fiasco and his bungling of the state coronavirus response a lot of people who supported him in 2018 are having buyer’s remorse.

  • Diana Page says:

    The voucher money is needed for public schools across TN. Public schools have been starved of adequate funding. Public schools in TN need funds to address issues which arise from intergenerational poverty and other concerns.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Diane please stop reading the talking points from the Government Schools Trust. Join me and be a trust buster like good ole’ Teddy Roosevelt. BTW, the last time I looked the United States spends more on its government schools than any country in the world other than Norway and if money was the problem with government schools Newark, N.J. and Washington, D.C. would have some of the top schools in the nation – they don’t. Please don’t let the Government Schools Trust bamboozle you Diane.

      • Paul says:

        Stuart, please stop reading the talking points from the conservative lobbyist anti-education trust. Join us and fund local schools at a level that supports pupil achievement instead of funneling taxpayer funds to conservative paid-lobbyist organization who pocket the money and play by different rules regarding testing, pupil eligibility, and more. If conservative socially engineered schools are held to the same standard as public schools, then we might have some basis for comparison. Instead it’s “give us your money, we’re better”, while behind the curtain the students are cherry-picked, the tests are different, the school physical plants are different, the compliance is different, and so on. If conservative socially engineered schools were better, they would be able to prove it using the same rules. Instead, for charter schools for example, they get to write a “charter” and then comply with their own rules and they get to pick whom they select as students versus “take all” as one example. There’s minimal difference in outcome as shown by any reputable independent study. It’s a great scam on paper. Frankly, if they were held to the same standards as the folks they criticize, they might have a leg to stand on, but instead it’s apples and oranges on multiple levels. Folks who drink the private-is-always better Kool-aid will never be convinced otherwise though. And please don’t play the “public charter” card…..that’s advertising, not how they operate.

        If they did what they claim and had to follow the same rules, they might be some of the top schools in the nation. But who knows, given the opacity of these ultimately private entities who like to use the phrase “public charter” as part of their naming to fool the gullible. Please don’t let the conservative social school engineering mafia bamboozle you.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Good response Paul. In my free market school system where the government dollars go to parents with which to educate their children the only schools eligible to receive that money would have to be judged on the same criterion that would be set by the state. The results of the evaluation would be made public annually in plenty of time to inform parents before they are to register their child for the next school year.

          There would also be a “must take” rule and kids who were difficult to educate would be placed in an educational equivalent of the old auto insurance “assigned risk” category that would add up to every school having a reasonable cross section of students. Once we rid ourselves of the government school monopoly there is no end to the creativity in education that could be unleashed by all of those ubiquitous PhD’s in education that we see here, there and everywhere.

      • MARLE says:

        Mo money; mo money. It’s the answer to every problem.

  • steve cates says:

    “Tone deaf” is correct. He needs to put on his checked shirt, jeans and boots and go back to the farm. He is totally incapable of leadership!

    • MARLE says:

      Glad to see you here Steve. I asked how you were at any reasonable risk for the virus if you simply stayed home . Guess you didn’t see my question. Hope you’ll answer it here.

  • John Richards says:

    Anyone that voted for this should probably be arrested. Sounds like the bribes and kickbacks were rampant.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      John gives us an unusually revealing insight into the liberal mind. No one can possibly be motivated by well reasoned policy decisions to disagree with a liberal position. Not on your life. Such disagreements “. . .bribes and kickbacks [which] were rampant” which should “probably” subject the disputatious individual to arrest and Lord knows what else. Frightening isn’t it?

    • Donna Locke says:


  • John Richards says:

    The TBI and FBI are investigating. I am betting heads roll. And I am not a liberal. Certified conservative.

  • John Richards says:

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