Lee laments ‘a lot of misunderstanding’ about voucher proposal

Gov. Bill Lee is concerned that there’s “a lot of misunderstanding” about his proposal to create voucher-like education savings accounts in Tennessee. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the Republican govenror said a more comprehensive look at the proposal is warranted.

“I encourage you to look deeper,” Lee said.

But a lot of the confusion about the proposal comes from members of Lee’s own party. For example, freshman Rep. Robin Smith (R-Hixson) took to twitter to declare a news account a “pure lie” for stating the education savings account, or ESA, program would also apply to students who don’t currently attend failing schools. It would.

As proposed, the ESA program would apply to school districts with at least three schools in the bottom 10%, though there’d be no requirement to actually attend a failing school to qualify.

Fellow freshman Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Columbia), a member of the House Education Committee scheduled to vote on the bill this week, said in a Facebook post that “because of the risk of fraud, as seen in other states with Educational Savings Accounts, homeschooling is not allowed in this bill.”

That’s in contrast to what Lee said last week when reporters asked him whether home-schooling would qualify for the ESAs.

If a family is in the district that qualifies, and they are currently in a public school, then they would qualify for an ESA,” Lee said.

Cepicky said in his Facebook post that lawmakers are trying to “tighten and limit this bill as much as possible,” so perhaps there’s potential changes on the horizon.

4 Responses to Lee laments ‘a lot of misunderstanding’ about voucher proposal

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    If you can’t HomeSchool, the deep six it.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Then Deep Six it !.

  • Avatar
    MarLE says:

    Wonder why the issue of Program Success (as measured by improved outcomes) is not being discussed by Lee or others. Variations of vouchers have existed in other states. So…has anyone heard how the “escapees” are doing in terms of improved individual achievement. Most studies are suspect depending on who is funding them but surely there have been some reliable ones done by independent orgs.

  • Avatar
    Donna Locke says:

    Speaking of Columbia and homeschooling, a guy from Columbia, and his wife from Ashland City or thereabouts, write interesting history textbooks for homeschool. The books have a religious orientation, and I am not religious, but after reading one of their texts, I thought American history had never been presented in such an engaging way for kids. One of the authors was one of my husband’s students when my husband taught high school in Columbia.

    Many of our political leaders could use a course in history and government. Fun reading, in any case.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *