Is still bad for Tennessee students and a raw deal for Tennessee taxpayers.
It is clear that privatizers are favoring Education Savings Accounts as a new means to try to change the conversation after five years of stinging defeats when peddling more traditional voucher legislation. While ESAs are referred to by some as “vouchers light,” nothing could be further from the truth.
ESAs are vouchers on steroids, as recipients are sent money directly rather than applying it toward the cost of private school tuition. As such, parents can then spend the funds however they like, even if that means keeping their children home and not attending school at all.
This super voucher has been used in other states with disastrous results. Sending funds directly to parents has invited widespread fraud and abuse of voucher funds.
“The fact is, we have truant officers for a reason,” says TEA chief lobbyist Jim Wrye. “The state will be providing a monetary incentive for the misuse of funds and children will suffer as a result.”
Stay tuned as the legislative session develops and vouchers in some form emerge at the General Assembly.
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