Hundreds of applications pour in for Tennessee's education savings account program

60 students placed in private schools this year
Posted at 7:57 AM, Aug 26, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than 600 applications have come in for Tennessee’s new Education Savings Account program.

Gov. Bill Lee said his office has been working overtime to get the program up and running this school year.

The governor has waited several years for the program to begin because it was challenged when it officially launched in 2019. Lower courts previously ruled the program wasn't constitutional.

Last year, the decision was appealed and last month they started to accept applications.

Gov. Lee said nearly 60 students have already been approved to attend a participating school this fall. Forty private schools have offered seats to students this school year.

The ESA program is for students to receive money directly for their education to pay for private education rather than the public school system. The program aims to help students in three school districts in Nashville and Memphis to give them access to a better education.

Gov. Lee said he’s been reading letters submitted by students and he's seeing how much these kids want a shot at a better education.

“One of the most impactful letters I received was from a young man who wrote to us about the struggle his mom had since his dad passed away from cancer. In his letter, he said he's a hard worker who wants a shot at a good school, so that he can give back to his family. That kid deserves that shot,” Gov. Lee explained.

When it comes to the application process, families will find out the status of it via email. The application status and the process take around 21 business days.