Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signs school voucher bill

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signs school voucher bill

May 24th, 2019 by Associated Press in Breaking News

Staff photo by Doug Strickland / Gov. Bill Lee gives the commencement address during Bryan College's spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Dayton, Tenn. Lee was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the ceremony. In his first commencement address as governor, Lee spoke about how his faith helped him overcome tragedy following the death of his first wife in a horseback riding accident.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a bill diverting tax dollars to private education.

The new law will allow participating families to receive debit cards worth up to $7,300 in state education money each year.

The freshman governor navigated a bumpy legislative path to score his most prominent policy win yet with the voucher-like proposal. President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sent supportive tweets while it was debated in the Legislature.

Eventually, the bill narrowly emerged from fights over cost estimates and provisions that could exclude families in the U.S. illegally.

Nationally, five states have passed laws allowing some sort of education savings accounts: Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada. The Nevada Supreme Court later ruled the state could not use school dollars to fund the accounts.