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Public education is under attack by the passing of a bill that would fund vouchers for private, private parochial school and homeschooling by robbing millions from our public schools. Schools receiving these funds are not held to the same accountability as public schools. Students of these schools do 1/2 the testing. Should these students leave the the private parochial, private or homeschool the $7,000 stipend does not follow the student. Voucher programs such as this have been implemented with little success in states like Florida, Arizona and Michigan. In fact, Marcus May of Florida was able to steal millions of tax payer dollars by putting the money into his personal accounts. The ESA (Educational Savings Accounts) debit cards have also been used for items like t.v.s. and beauty products. Even with the $7,000 these students cannot afford to pay the difference for tuition. In fact, in Arizona only 4% of voucher money was utilized by the underprivileged while 75% of affluent families used them.  Not to mention the unlawfulness of vouchers including the lack of separation of church and state (religious private schools are included).  As well, Plyler v. Doe landmark decision from 1982 states regardless of immigration status a free public education cannot be withheld.  Tennessee's voucher bill will not be available to students who are undocumented. 

Our state must fully fund our schools.  So many programs have been tried in our state with little to no success. What has not been tried is FULLY FUNDING our schools and let the professionals "TEACHERS" do their job without the stress of underfunding.  Stop allowing outside interest group steal the future of our kids. 

I am a middle school teacher in Knox County. I am also a parent of two public school children. I have proudly served my district for over 15 years. I am passionate about teaching in public school and know all the amazing things happening in our schools. Trust teachers to make the decisions that will best help students. Our legislators are yet to ask our opinions when it comes to fixing our schools.  Come visit our schools and spend a day with us.   I see teachers working tirelessly, spend their own money for supplies, work extra jobs to make ends meet and spend a large portion of their salaries providing daycare for their children. I read of schools in our district that are unsafe, underfunded and overcrowded. One such school students could not have class due to carbon monoxide leaks (teachers purchased carbon monoxide detectors since it wasn't the first time they'd had a leak). Yet more money will be pulled from our schools.  I have traveled to Nashville to protest as well as marched with hundreds of other educators against this bill because this bill will bankrupt our schools.