Bill’s Bill or No Bill on School Vouchers

This image is from one of several TV ads running in support of school vouchers.

This image is from one of several TV ads running in support of school vouchers.

The fate of school vouchers in Tennessee may be decided this week. Governor Bill Haslam has threatened to kill his own proposal if legislators try to change it.

The governor wasn’t a huge fan of diverting money from public schools to pay private school tuition. But to satisfy the legislature, he came up with a plan limited to poor kids in failing schools, with a cap of 5,000 in the first year.

A bill that would have opened vouchers to many more students was in the works until lawmakers decided to change course and just expand the governor’s bill. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris says that’s not an option.

“Unlike hundreds of other bills that I’ve sponsored for the administration, this is not one that should be subject to the General Assembly’s tinkering,” Norris says.

If the choice is between more school vouchers and none at all, Norris says the Haslam Administration will just pull the proposal.

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