Even as Hamilton County’s own Sen. Todd Gardenhire champions the expansion of the state’s school voucher program into Chattanooga, a local advocacy group is opposing the measure.
More from NewsBreak:
For its part, The Unity Group says there are still too many unanswered questions about the program.
Specifically, the group called out issues around accountability for funds spent and suggested that taxpayers would end up footing the bill for sub-par private education.
The potential for increased local tax burden combined with data the group says suggests students fail to benefit from voucher programs led the group to oppose expansion of ESAs into Chattanooga.
The group passed a resolution stating reasons for opposing the program’s expansion and called on lawmakers to heed their warning.
Specific reasons for opposing voucher expansion include:
“Research shows that school 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.
The push to expand vouchers comes at the same time legislation that could dramatically increase the presence of charter schools is being introduced by the Speaker of the House and the Lt. Governor.
As noted in The Education Report:
Just when you thought the Tennessee General Assembly couldn’t go any more “all-in” on the privatization of our state’s public schools, House Speaker Cameron Sexton files an amendment to a caption bill that would effectively create statewide charter schools.
Here’s the amendment to HB1214/SB1194.
Here are the two things this 9-page amendment does:
- Creates a scheme for allowing charter schools that serve homeschooled students
- Allows for the creation of residential/boarding schools that are charter schools
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