State Sen. Ken Yager Pledges Opposition to School Vouchers

State Senator Ken Yager (R-TN-12) said he will not support school vouchers if they come up for a vote in the Tennessee Legislature in 2019, the Independent Herald of Oneida said.

“I am opposed to vouchers,” Yager said. “I will not support any proposal that will cause a hemorrhage of needed funds to our schools.”

“One of the arguments on behalf of vouchers is freedom of choice,” Yager said. “I happen to believe we already have that choice. It’s called parental choice. You can send your kids to charter school if you want to, or to a private school, or you can home-school them or send them to a public school. The choice is already there.

Gov.-elect Bill Lee campaigned on school choice. Yager’s statement would appear to go against what Lee has said is a priority, but will Lee follow through on his campaign promise?

On the Dec. 11 Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. – the men analyzed Lee’s cabinet picks and the absence of any conservatives. They also discussed whether Lee would honor his “school choice” campaign pledge.

Leahy said it would be the most important policy issue. Both men agreed school choice would be the best option for the state. Gill said that Lee’s new policy director, Tony Niknejad, has promoted vouchers and school choice.

More of their conversation is available here.

The topic continues to draw interest in Tennessee.

The Beacon Center on Dec. 10 hosted a meeting in Jackson on school choice issues in the upcoming legislative session for 2019, The Star reported.

Taylor Dawson, outreach coordinator for the Beacon Center, spoke about the organization’s legislative goals regarding school choice and the ways in which volunteers can help.

According to a Beacon special report, summarized here, ESAs “provide families a more flexible option than traditional voucher programs. ESA funds can be used to create a truly customized education experience including tutoring, speech and other education therapy, private school tuition, homeschool curriculum and supplies, education technology, and even help save for college.”

Beacon’s full report is available here.

There is a high level of support nationally for school choice, according to the “Schooling America” report by EdChoice, an organization that promotes school choice.

Support for choice-based reforms remains high for education savings accounts, school vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and charter schools.

Public school teachers support education savings accounts in larger numbers compared to their support for other types of school choice reforms.

Americans’ support for education savings accounts and school vouchers jumps at least 20 percentage points when respondents are given descriptions of those reforms. Opposition also increases but at much smaller proportions.

The “Schooling America” report is available here.

– – –

Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Ken Yager” by Ken Yager.
Background Photo “Tennessee Senate Floor” by Terrancee. CC BY-SA  3.0.






Related posts

5 Thoughts to “State Sen. Ken Yager Pledges Opposition to School Vouchers”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    “You can send your kids to charter school if you want to, or to a private school, or you can home-school them or send them to a public school. The choice is already there.”

    How about those illegal mexicans that made the choice to enter our country illegally? Why do their kids get a free ride in the public school system? How is it you give $10k per illegal alien, but claim the homeschoolers and private schoolers have “opted out” and don’t deserve any of the tax money they pay in? Why should actual taxpaying citizens pay twice when illegals get a free ride?

    Yager once again proves that the government school advocates don’t give a damn about the actual students, just the tax dollars behind them. The purpose is education of the child not supporting “schools”. The funding should follow the child.

  2. Wolf Woman

    I’m with Randy and Kevin..

  3. 83ragtop50

    Sure. Keep the money rolling into the greatly flawed public dis-education system

  4. Kevin

    Ken Yager has been a government employee his entire career! First as a County Attorney, then as a County Executive, followed by his latest stint as a State Senator. So all he knows is a “government-based” answer to a problem! Of course he would be opposed to a solution that is “outside the box”.

    Look around the Country or even our own State, more money is NOT the answer to producing better educated, smarter kids! Choice/options, and engaged parents is the answer.

    Of course, leftist Government-types will next recognize anything but the public education model. It is the single largest voting block in the nation, which government controls! And getting parents to pull their heads out of their electronic devices long enough to recognize the issue well, it will never happen.

  5. Randy Pace

    Be very careful, when the public is given the whole story about school vouchers, it is likely they will no longer listen to school administrations rhetoric.