House Passes Textbook Transparency Act And Expands Scholarship Eligibility To Home Schoolers

The Tennessee House Of Representatives Overwhelmingly Supported Legislation This Week That Ensures All Textbooks In The Hands Of Tennessee Students Are Accessible To The Public To View And Removed Restrictions On Home-Schoolers To Receive The HOPE Scholarship.

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Published April 20, 2021

By William Haupt III [Tennessee Watchdog Journalist, Columnist, Author, and Citizen Legislator]

House passes Textbook Transparency Act 

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported legislation this week that ensures all textbooks in the hands of Tennessee students are accessible to the public to view. House Bill 1513 creates the Textbook Transparency Act which increases transparency in public school educational material. 

The Textbook Transparency Act makes available online textbooks that are adopted by the state of Tennessee and used by public schools.

Compared to the 90-day time frame textbooks are currently required to be available to the public, this bill requires publishers to make these materials available so long as they are actively being used in the classroom. The bill now awaits passage in the Senate.

Republicans expand scholarship eligibility to home schoolers 

More Tennessee students could soon be eligible for state scholarships under Republican legislation. House Bill 646 will expand the eligibility for home school students to receive the HOPE and Tennessee Promise scholarships. 

The legislation revises current state statutes by implementing certain criteria for home school students to meet in order to take advantage of the lottery scholarships. House Bill 646 allows the students to qualify for the scholarship based on a GPA, whereas currently home school students have had to rely solely on their ACT scores to establish eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.  

Students will now be able to qualify for the scholarship by successfully completing two dual enrollment courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0. 

It also removes the requirement for a student to maintain “home school status” for a minimum of one full calendar year prior to graduation. 
House Bill 646 will be heard for consideration in the Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on Tuesday, April 20. 

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About the Author:

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13. His work also appears in The Center Square, The Western Journal, Neighbor Newspapers, KPXJ 21 (Shreveport, LA), Killeen Daily Herald, Aberdeen American News, InsideNova, Kankakee Daily Journal, Monterey County Weekly, Olean Times Herald, The Greeneville Sun and more.

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