Education Secretary DeVos speaks at Nashville education summit - WSMV News 4

Education Secretary DeVos speaks at Nashville education summit

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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Murfreesboro on Wednesday. (WSMV) U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Murfreesboro on Wednesday. (WSMV)

A parent's choice of where their child should go to school is a hot topic on Thursday in downtown Nashville.

A national education summit is underway at the Omni Hotel where U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is speaking right now.

DeVos supports the school voucher program, which has been controversial not only here in Tennessee but across the country.

During the conference on Thursday, education leaders and policymakers sat in on discussions about school choice for parents stuck with failing districts.

In Tennessee, the voucher program was shot down by lawmakers last session. It would have used taxpayer money to send low-income students to private schools on vouchers.

Former presidential candidate Jeb Bush told attendees at the summit that the country needs to upend the current education system.

"There's strong support when you look at all the polling, there's strong support for vouchers and for charter schools across the country, and we need to take advantage of that," Bush said.

Bush is also calling for more personalized learning for each student.

Many arguments against school choice question how accountable charter and private schools will be for a student's education. Opponents also say it takes away money from public schools.

They are also talking about school accountability and whether a national shift to school choice is a good thing.

News 4 will have more from the summit coming up tonight at 4 p.m.

Several local education advocacy groups plan to protest DeVos' visit. They want to send the message that they don't agree with Devos' support of private school vouchers, which allow parents to use public funds to pay for their child's private school tuition. Protestors will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at Riverfront Park.

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