NASHVILLE — State senators on Thursday passed legislation that creates a school voucher program for students from lower-income families in Hamilton County and the state’s three other largest counties.
The measure passed on a largely partisan 20-10 vote with one Democrat, Sen. Douglas Henry of Nashville, joining with majority Republicans. Several Republicans did not vote.
Similar legislation in the House has not started to move.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, praised the bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, saying, it will provide “opportunity scholarships for parents who have their children trapped in a failing school but don’t have the means to take them anywhere else.”
But Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, charged it was little more than a retread of 30-year-old ideas. He complained that majority Republicans this year are pushing a series of “divisive” partisan bills that depart from recent bipartisan approaches on education reform.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...