Voucher bill clears House floor, Senate committee by single vote each

It was a day for close votes for Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher proposal. First, the measure received the bare minimum number of votes in a 6-5 decision by the Senate Finance Committee to send the bill to a full floor vote. Then, House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) had to keep the voting board open for 40 minutes in order to persuade a lone holdout — Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) — to change his vote from no to yes and get the bill the 50 votes it needed to pass.

Here’s your Senate Finance Committee vote in graphical form.

Senators voting yes were, from left, Brian Kelsey, John Stevens, Ferrell Haile, Todd Gardenhire, and Bo Watson. Voting no were Joey Hensley, Ken Yager, Brenda Gilmore, Jeff Yarbro, and Richard Briggs.

Here’s the House vote:

Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Boyd, Carter, Cepicky, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, DeBerry, Doggett, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Garrett, Hall, Helton, Hill M, Hill T, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Moon, Ogles, Powers, Ragan, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Sanderson, Sexton J, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Terry, Tillis, Todd, Van Huss, White, Williams, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Casada — 50.

Representatives voting no were: Beck, Bricken, Byrd, Calfee, Camper, Carr, Chism, Clemmons, Cochran, Coley, Cooper, Dixie, Freeman, Gant, Griffey, Hakeem, Halford, Hardaway, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Hicks, Hodges, Holsclaw, Jernigan, Johnson G, Keisling, Lamar, Love, Miller, Mitchell, Parkinson, Potts, Powell, Ramsey, Russell, Sexton C, Shaw, Staples, Stewart, Thompson, Towns, Travis, Vaughan, Weaver, Whitson, Windle, Wright — 48.

10 Responses to Voucher bill clears House floor, Senate committee by single vote each

  • MarLE says:


  • Pingback: Wednesday, April 24

  • Eddie White says:

    The graphics are nice, but it does not tell me who voted yes and who voted no since I don’t know what all these senators look like.

  • Eddie White says:

    Thank you

  • MarLE says:

    so..Zachary flipped to yes after His country was exempt. NIMBY Rules!!! And teachers don’t think they have an un-godly degree of power?

  • Silence Dogood says:

    I contacted Senator Briggs by email and he claims some pretty unbelievable stuff would be allowed under that ESA program in his return emails. It took my breath away. An example: “A foster family with 6 foster children would receive $124,800 in cash from the state each year plus food stamps and TennCare if they home school.” And: “The bill only applies to Memphis and Nashville so Knox County and the rest of the state could not participate. Why should I vote for a bill that would only take funds from Knox County public schools but Knox County parents and children have no benefit or opportunity to use.” Thoughts?

    • MarLE says:

      Food stamps and Tenncare are contingent on homeschooling~ since when? And since the voucher gives roughly 7K how do 6 children get you 125K related to the ESA bill? Yes….foster care IS a cash cow. Children taken from irresponsible parents are costing the rest of us Big Time!

  • Beth Sebastian says:

    Please vote no for voucher schools! This will affect many children that cannot get to voucher schools!
    Public schools are not what you think! If you have never sat in a public school classroom for several hours, you have NO idea what is going on! There are many very competent teachers in these classrooms doing a
    Wonderful job! Those of you that have not been in a public school as a student or as a visitor, have No business telling public schools what YOU think is right!.
    Would you like me to run your bank account in a bank that I know nothing about?
    I am a retired teacher, of 31 years, that used to help new teachers that were needing help to understand what to do! Leave public schools alone and No to vouchers!

    • MarLE says:

      Put cameras in the classroom so the people paying for all of this can actually SEE what is going on….Ever heard of teachers advocating for that????? Of course, not. Getting access to a public school classroom is like breaking into Ft Knox.

      In order for the public to know what is going on you can’t just have someone “invited” to a particular class for a few hours. Common sense tells you that is not going to give anyone insight into what is happening.

  • Silence Dogood says:

    Beth, reality for you:
    1) USA spends more money per student than any other country in the world according to OECD.
    2) USA students rank, according PEW, 24th in the world in Science
    3) USA students rank, according to PEW, 39th in the world in Math
    4) USA students rank, according to PEW, 24th in the world in Reading
    5)The public education system in the USA needs to be competitive worldwide and they are not. Too many administrators and too much politics in our classrooms. Privatization is already happening. Good competent teachers will always have a job, right?

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