Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Rebecca Scott] –
Governor Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) and Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) continue to promote the governor’s school voucher program proposal.
On Wednesday they visited Knoxville and spoke at Emerald Academy, a charter school.
Sexton spoke to concerns regarding voucher availability in rural counties, pointing out that some rural areas simply do not have private or charter school choices available to them. Regarding parents in rural areas that may be disappointed in the performance of their public schools, according to Sexton, “Those families who may work in that county move to another county to go to a public school and they work back in that rural county because there are no options there.”
While there would be 20,000 vouchers available for the upcoming 2024/2025 school year, Governor Lee’s plan provides for universal school choice for all eligible Tennessee families by the following 2025/2026 school year.
In the Governor’s words, “We prioritize those with low incomes and those with disabilities and once those priorities are met, and the students that want to access this program, from that pool of students, then we continue to open it up. That’s the way it should work, we need to make it available to those who need it most.”
In presenting the Education Freedom Scholarship Act of 2024 to Tennessee lawmakers, citizens, and education stakeholders, Governor Lee shared his insight into the program.
“Tennessee’s Education Freedom Scholarships will empower parents with the freedom to choose the right education for their child, while also giving them a say in how their taxpayer dollars are invested. In the coming months, I look forward to working with Tennessee families and members of the General Assembly to accomplish this historic legislative initiative and establish Tennessee as a leader in providing choice for families while also striving toward the best public school system in the country.”
Rebecca Scott is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Rebecca at Rebecca@tennesseeconservativenews.com.