Metro teachers react to Mayor’s anticipated legal challenge over Governor’s school voucher program

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Thursday, Nashville’s mayor will announce a lawsuit against the state.

An agenda for a special-called Metro School Board meeting states that Mayor John Cooper will be discussing a lawsuit against the state over school vouchers.

News 2 spoke to the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association (MNEA) about the announcement. MNEA President, Amanda Kail, said they’ve long expressed disapproval of the voucher program.

“Money that would be going to public schools and other places, is being used and siphoned off to fund this voucher program,” said Kail.

News 2 also spoke with a Metro school teacher who said the voucher program is misappropriating vital funding.

“We need to be supporting our public schools, they’re not failing they just need help. The majority of our state’s children, attend public school,” said Mary Holden, a Metro English teacher.

Last spring, Governor Bill Lee signed school vouchers into law. The vouchers would use tax dollars to give qualifying students up to $7,300 on debit cards to pay for private school tuition or other fees.

At Tuesday’s State of the State, Governor Lee said the voucher program was a new solution for low performing schools.

“We can’t expect extraordinarily different outcomes without extraordinarily different inputs.”

The representative who sponsored the school voucher bill said this during the 2019 legislative session,

“We’ve got kids who are in a bad environment for them, and we are giving them an opportunity to seek a better education environment,” said Representative Bill Dunn.

Previous Story

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Mayor John Cooper and former state Attorney General Bob Cooper are set to announce litigation challenging Governor Bill Lee’s Educational Savings Account bill.

The bill, passed by a single vote in 2019, diverts tax dollars to private education and allows participating families to receive debit cards worth up to $7,300 in state education money each year. It was signed into law by Tennessee Gov. Lee in May 2019.

The pending litigation is expected to be announced at a special called meeting of the Metropolitan Board of Education on Thursday.

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