Controversial School Voucher Bill Advances

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 21:44:34-04

Crowds gathered at Legislative Plaza over the controversial bill that would give publicly funded vouchers to students so they can attend private schools.

There was no place to stand inside room 29 at Legislative Plaza on Tuesday so instead TC Weber found himself standing up against a bill he couldn't get behind.

"Vouchers have a past record of failure," he said as the hearing dragged on for more than an hour.

The voucher program would be a pilot, applying only to schools in Memphis so officials could study its effectiveness.

"We're getting ready to try something that hasn't worked in other states," said Democrat Craig Fitzhugh.

"I want us to have this conversation because it’s a serous conversation," Republican Mark White responded.

In the crowd were dozens of teachers and parents from Memphis who came to oppose the measure.

"It’s taking our children and using them as guinea pigs to see if something works," said parent Danette Stokes. 

The proposed piece of legislation though brought in enough votes on Tuesday to move out of committee.