School voucher bill advances in House of Representatives
JACKSON, Tenn. — If passed, Bill 939 will allow families with a certain income to use school vouchers to choose what school their student attends. This will include the ability to go to both private and charter schools. Each voucher will come with a set amount of money for the child to use.
“Basically it would be a card, and on this card is sort of like a debit card, and that particular card will follow them to whatever school they were able to get enrolled in,” said Jackson-Madison County School Board vice-chair Janice Hampton. Hampton fears the school system will have to close some schools due to a lack of students enrolled.
“I would hate to see teachers and principals have to leave and go elsewhere in order to further their careers,” Hampton said.
For a student to be eligible, the child would have to be enrolled in a Tennessee public school that is zoned to a district with three or more schools in the bottom 10 percent of the state, in regards to academic performance.
Sen. Ed Jackson says a solution is needed to help these low-performing schools.
“There are some school systems that need some help because they’ve been failing, and they’ve been failing for years and years, and we have kids that are getting passed over. They’re not getting an education,” Sen. Jackson said.
If passed, the bill will take effect in the fall of 2021.