Lawmakers may compromise over ESA bill

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 19:26:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As both sides of the state legislature bring Education Savings Account bills to their completion, senate leadership said it's likely lawmakers will have to reach a compromise.

Differences in the ESA bills for the state house and senate will have to be resolved if supporters want to pass the issue and send it to Governor Bill Lee's desk.

The main difference are what school districts the ESA program would take place in.

The house wants all counties in Tennessee to have at least some access to ESAs. The Senate only has Shelby and Davidson counties as a part of their plan.

"I think that it may end up in a conference committee," said Lt. Governor Randy McNally Thursday.

A conference committee is a joint meeting between house and senate members where lawmakers will find middle ground on the issue.

Opponents of the bills say ESAs will take money from the lowest performing schools in the state, however supporters said it will have the opposite effect, strengthening the schools while removing a burden from teachers.

Both houses will vote on the issue next week.