Rise & Shine: Bill Lee’s voucher plan could cost as much as $125 million annually by 2024

Good morning,

Gov. Bill Lee has revealed long-awaited details about his plan to give Tennessee parents more education choices for their children, beginning with a legislative proposal to spend up to $75 million to launch an education savings account program in the fall of 2021.

Here are some quick facts from our reporting:

  • If Lee's plan comes to fruition, up to 15,000 students could be receiving taxpayer money for private education services by 2025.
  • By 2024, the voucher program could cost as much as $125 million annually, with $25 million in recurring school improvement grants.
  • Students must come from families with up to double the annual income under federal eligibility requirements for receiving free and reduced-price lunches, or up to about $76,886 for a three-person household.

What questions do you have? What's your initial take on the proposal? We're listening at tn.tips@chalkebeat.org.

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-Caroline, community editor

IN THE DETAILS Tennessee’s governor reveals details about his “parent choice” proposal, which could take money from public schools. Chalkbeat, Times Free Press, The Tennessean

CONTINUING EDUCATION The University of Tennessee plans to launch a free college program that mirrors successful Promise and Reconnect programs. The Tennessean

SUPERINTENDENT RETENTION Sullivan County Commission and two school boards are at odds over a superintendent retention bill. Kingsport Time-News

HISTORY LESSON Gov. Bill Lee announces plans to change civics curricula in Tennessee schools, teaching what he called “unapologetic American exceptionalism” along with it. WREG

HOW TO Is your child going to start kindergarten next year in Sumner County? Here’s what you need to know. The Tennessean

SCHOOL FUNDING Carter County schools are facing a potential loss of more than $600,000 of state dollars next school year due to enrollment loss. WCYB

PUSH BACK Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney is pushing back on a notification the district received from the Tennessee Department of Education that said it is not in compliance with a federal law having to do with the issue of school suspensions. Spring Hill Home Page

OPINION Opinion: Do school vouchers make public education better or worse? The Daily Helmsman


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