Friday, December 02, 2011

Tennessee lawmakers, buoyed by success of Indiana program, pushing for school vouchers

EAG on TN considering vouchers:


As Indiana education reformers celebrate a voucher milestone with the nation's largest first-year program, school choice advocates in Tennessee are capitalizing on that momentum to launch their own program, likely with more stringent restrictions.


     Nearly 4,000 K-12 Hoosier students participated in the statewide Indiana Choice Scholarship program in its inaugural year, and data released by the Indiana Department of Education shows the program is helping students who need help the most.


     About 85 percent of Indiana's voucher participants qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, and nearly 70 percent reside in metropolitan areas, home of the state's worst schools.


     More than half of the scholarship users are from minority families.


     Officials in Tennessee say the apparent success of Indiana's program, particularly in reaching key student demographics, is helping to boost momentum for vouchers in the Volunteer State, where legislation is pending in the state House to launch a pilot program.


     Vouchers are expected to be a controversial and hotly discussed issue when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Public school and teachers union officials are already aligned against the proposal. 


November 22, 2011


Tennessee lawmakers, buoyed by success of Indiana program, pushing for school vouchers 


By Victor Skinner
EAG Communications

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