Metro School Board To Add Its Voice To Anti-Voucher Campaign

Feb 27, 2017

The Metro Board of Education plans to officially condemn school vouchers. Several school systems around the state have passed resolutions that object to diverting tax dollars to private school tuition. Nashville's board is set to vote on a similar measure Tuesday night.

The Metro school board has voiced its objections to vouchers before, though this resolution is more pointed.

WHEREAS, vouchers have not been effective at improving student achievement or closing the achievement gap, with the most credible research finding little or no difference in voucher and public school students’ performance;

More: See the full resolution

The state's urban systems have the most to lose under the voucher plans under consideration, in which the only students eligible to get a private school scholarship must be zoned for one of the lowest-performing schools in the state. Those tend to be in Tennessee's largest cities.

The perennial sponsor of school vouchers, Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville, has said he doesn't blame school boards for protecting their systems. But he contends vouchers protect the student and give them options.

Dunn has introduced voucher legislation again this year, and the bill might have a tailwind given the Trump Administration's support for vouchers. However, the measure has not yet been debated.