Tennessee moves one step closer to an opportunity scholarship program

March 26, 2014 6:17PM

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Federation for Children (TFC), the state affiliate of the American Federation for Children, today applauds the passage of SB 196 the “Tennessee Choice & Opportunity Scholarship Act,” from the Senate Education Committee. The Beacon Center of Tennessee joins with TFC, thanking the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, and legislative leaders from both chambers for moving Tennessee one step closer to empowering parents with additional educational options for their children. “Tennessee’s future success will be measured by the quality of the education that is provided to its students,” stated Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “We applaud the bipartisan members of the Senate Education Committee for voting in favor of this bill and helping to break down barriers to educational choice for Tennessee parents and students. I also want to recognize and thank Gov. Bill Haslam for his leadership and commitment to enacting transformational education reform.” The Senate bill passed out of committee with bipartisan support on an eight to one vote. The legislation will now move to the Senate Finance Committee. The legislation proposes an opportunity scholarship program that will allow students trapped in failing schools to receive educational funds to attend any non-public school of their choice. Educational choice empowers parents to give their children who are trapped in underperforming schools new hope and new quality educational options. In recent years, other states around the country and surrounding Tennessee have adopted educational choice programs. Currently, 39 school choice programs exist in 18 states, Washington D.C., and Douglas County, Colorado. Education across the nation is being revolutionized by educational freedom – giving parents more ability to send their children to a school of their choice. “Tennessee families should be proud that their elected representatives—from the governor to legislators—are standing up in support of their educational freedom,” said Beacon Center CEO Justin Owen. “We look forward to continuing this important dialogue and helping to offer meaningful educational options for families across our state.” The Tennessee Federation for Children (TFC) is the state affiliate of the American Federation For Children, the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families. TFC has been formed to educate parents and families about the importance of educational choice and advocate for passage of a high-quality, statewide educational choice bill. The Beacon Center of Tennessee is the state’s leading free market public policy organization. The Center’s mission is to change lives by advancing the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government. ###