Tennessee Supreme Court to hear appeal of Gov. Lee's school voucher plan

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Posted at 1:59 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 15:07:39-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear an appeal on the constitutionality of Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher plan, also known as the Education Savings Account, or ESA.

An appeal was filed in November by the Liberty Justice Center, among others, on behalf of parents and schools who hoped to participate in the program.

“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court has decided to take this important case to protect the rights of thousands of low-income students to attend the school that best fits their needs,” said Brian Kelsey, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “Tennessee students and families now have the opportunity to be heard and continue their fight to narrow gaps in educational inequality and access.”

The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled against the school voucher program back in September. The three-member panel agreed with the Davidson County Chancery Court's decision that the Education Savings Account Plan is unconstitutional.

Gov. Lee’s plan would provide families with about $7,300 to spend for tuition and certain related expenses at participating private schools.

However, larger cities like Nashville and Memphis have criticized the plan because they worry it will take state money away from public schools. In February, the city of Nashville filed a lawsuit against the state over the voucher law, saying it’s unconstitutional.


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