Local 24 News Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On TN School Vouchers Debate


THE HOT-BUTTON ISSUE OF SCHOOL VOUCHERS IN TENNESSEE IS TOUCHING A LOT OF NERVES IN THE MID- SOUTH. OPPONENTS CLAIM IT WILL TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE IDEA PASSED THE STATE HOUSE YESTERDAY … ON THE HEELS OF THE SHELBY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD PASSING A RESOLUTION AGAINST IT. TONIGHT … LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD … SHARES HIS POINT OF VIEW. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: A PROPOSAL TO USE TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO SEND SOME PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS IS BECOMING THE MOST CONTENTIOUS ISSUE IN THE TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR. THE BATTLE LINES ARE BEING DRAWN. AND SURPRISINGLY, THEY CUT ACROSS PARTY LINES – WITH PROPOSAL – WHICH HE’S CALLING EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS – HIS SIGNATURE INITIATIVE IN HIS FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE. BASICALLY THE PROPOSAL WOULD PROVIDE STUDENTS AT LOW PERFORMING PUBLIC SCHOOLS A $73 HUNDRED DOLLAR VOUCHER TO ATTEND PRIVATE SCHOOLS. CRITICS ARGUE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE PLAN TAKES AWAY MUCH NEEDED TAX MONEY FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AND THE SHELBY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD THIS WEEK APPROVED A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE VOUCHER PROGRAM. BUT DESPITE THE RESOLUTION – AND A SPIRITED LEGISLATIVE DEBATE WEDNESDAY – THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE PASSED THE VOUCHER BILL – SENDING IT ONE STEP CLOSER TO FINAL PASSAGE. THERE ARE DECENT ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE PLAN. AND A VIGOROUS DEBATE IS A GOOD THING. OF COURSE, EVERY CHILD DESERVES THE BEST EDUCATION POSSIBLE. BUT THERE ARE MANY UNSOLVED CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROPOSAL – INCLUDING WHETHER PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD INDEED LOSE VALUABLE FUNDING. GOVERNOR LEE INSISTS THAT WON’T HAPPEN. HE HAS PUT A TON OF

Maurice Vega

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