Haslam's school voucher bill dead in legislature - WSMV News 4

Haslam's school voucher bill dead in legislature

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A plan to give parents more options on where to send their kids to school is dead in the state Legislature.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, withdrew his voucher bill.

Norris said members of the Education Committee were trying to change the bill into something that didn't meet the governor's vision.

"He wanted a more measured approach to introducing vouchers to the state of Tennessee and did not want it to become a political football at the expense of the children that his initiative is designed to serve," Norris said. "If they won't run their own bill, then they shouldn't try to hijack the administration's."

The voucher plan would have used state money to put low-income students in private schools.

A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam released a statement, saying:

"The administration studied this issue for a year and brought a diverse group of stakeholders to the table throughout that process. As a result of those efforts, the governor believes his proposal fits in best with the state's overall education reform efforts. Throughout this process, he wanted his bill to be considered on its merit and for substantially different proposals to be considered separately."

A separate bill for a more expansive voucher program was withdrawn earlier this session, though supporters have said they wanted to amend the governor's proposal to cover more students.

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