Mother wants to use ESA program to put son through school

generic - student - classr
Posted at 8:39 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 21:39:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — She's watched the discussions with interest, but even before the Education Savings Account plan was debated in the state legislature, Clarice Jackson was already discussing it with her mother.

Jackson wants to put her six-year-old son, Adrian, into a private school.

Adrian, while at one point having trouble with his speech, has progressed and thrived in school to the point where he's among the top of his class.

It's a trend Jackson wants to see continue.

"Because of how smart he is, well we don't feel like he's been really challenged enough," said Jackson of conversations she had with her mother, Sherri, about the young boy. "She's really adamant about him being in a private school."

Jackson knows the $7,300 from the legislature's program is not enough to cover the tuition of her school of preference. Ensworth School has a tuition of $23,680 for the lower school.

"That's why I was like, ok, the voucher was a good start," said Jackson. "I also know with the financial aid it will allow to start off somewhere."

She said she would also consider other schools and was interested in smaller class sizes for her son's education.

"I just want him to be able to be challenged to where he's not doing his work fast until he's bored waiting for everyone else to catch up," she said.

Jackson will have to wait. The program has yet to be fully developed and it's not clear which schools will want to be a part of it.

It's unclear if Ensworth would have financial aid that would make up for the shortfall from the ESA dollar amount, but at least one other private school has shown positive interest in the program.