As of Monday morning, State Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) is still a no vote on Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) bill.
As The Tennessee Star reported last week, however, that is subject to change, depending on how Lee tailors the bill to address Cepicky’s concerns.
Cepicky told The Star Sunday night he was still waiting for Lee’s changes.
“From what I understand, there is some kind of amendment coming out,” Cepicky said.
“I am waiting to see what it is. I haven’t seen anything.”
Other than that, Cepicky said he had no other updates.
As reported, Lee is adding various amendments to address Cepicky’s concerns. Cepicky said those concerns include some of the language about income limitations.
Another of Cepicky’s concerns — “the districts that are affected and students that are in that district as a whole, whether they went to a priority school or not and would have access to the ESA program.”
Cepicky said the bill is complex. He also said Lee was open to hearing his and other state representatives’ concerns.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Tennessee students in urban cities could start escaping failing schools in fall 2021 through Lee’s proposed plan.
The governor briefly addressed ESAs in his first State of the State address this month, as reported by The Tennessee Star.
The proposal would only be provided to five county school districts: Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Shelby and Madison (including the city of Jackson), The Star reported on March 10. Also included would be the state’s Achievement School District of failing schools, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said.
As The Star previously reported, 5,000 students represent only about one-half of one percent of the state’s 975,000 students. All told, a little more than 314,000 students in those districts are eligible to apply to be among the maximum 5,000 students who can enroll in Year One.
As The Star reported last month, several of the House Republican candidates the left-leaning Tennessee Education Association PAC opposed in the August 2018 primaries ended up winning their race, including Cepicky Mark Cochran (Englewood), Rick Eldridge (Morristown), Sabi “Doc” Kumar (Springfield), Justin Lafferty (Knoxville), and Iris Rudder (Winchester).
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