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Tennessee Senate Approves School Voucher Measure

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One of Many Reform Proposals to Advance in Legislature

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
April 10, 2014

The Tennessee Senate on Thursday passed school choice legislation that would allow low-income students in failing schools to use vouchers, adding to the vast array of legislative proposals aimed at improving student outcomes in the Volunteer State.

“Efforts to create a voucher program are part of a broader trend going on right now in Tennessee to introduce educational options through multiple avenues of innovation,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform.

If enacted, the bill in its first year would issue vouchers to as many as 5,000 income-eligible students in the bottom five percent of schools in Tennessee. The Senate version and its House counterpart complement other legislative plans that would expand quality charter schools and give parents input and influence into revamping neighborhood schools in ways that best serve the needs of their child.

“Whether it’s instituting a program to give low-income students a better chance at success, facilitating the state charter school sector or allowing parents to petition for change in schools, Tennessee lawmakers are well on their way towards allowing for better educational options to flourish,” said Kerwin.