A school vouchers proposal that was scuttled last year by Republican infighting is showing new signs of life in the state legislature. Such a bill would essentially divert some public-school money, to help poor kids in failing schools afford private educations instead.
Gov. Bill Haslam has been pushing for a relatively limited “pilot” program, focused on poor families in the bottom 5 percent of schools. Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) is now trying to include the bottom 10 percent instead. And he wants to give other students access to vouchers, if poor families in their district don’t claim them all first.
Haslam stopped short of condemning Kelsey’s approach, but said that’s not his preference.
Both Haslam’s measure and the latest proposal from Kelsey would eventually cap the number of families getting vouchers at 20 thousand.