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School vouchers, teacher pay raises on track according to governor

Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 19:56:57-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee says his plans for Education Savings Accounts and raises for teachers are both on course to happen.

Lee toured Tennessee College of Applied Technology Wednesday morning with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The pair focused on Tennessee's vocational programs, which have been part of Lee's education push since he took office.

Lee also spoke about the state's school voucher program, which may kick off this fall, as well as teacher pay.

He said teacher retention is one of the most important parts of the future of education in the state.

"That's the governors initiative around 1,000 scholarships that we're proposing to provide some of the brightest students in our system to enter the education field. So, we can replenish teachers," Lee said. "We have a real problem replenishing some of the teachers leaving the system as they retire. So, we're working really hard on a number of fronts in our public education system."

The controversial voucher program faced criticism since the start of the 2020 legislative session. Lawmakers have grilled the TN department of education over a no-bid contract awarded to the contractor that will run the program.