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3 Thoughts to “Nashville Democrat Files Bill to Repeal the Education Savings Account Pilot Program”

  1. […] As reported, Lee talked about education choice on the campaign trail as something that was on his heart due to his personal experience mentoring a young man. […]

  2. Jim

    Of course the Dumocrats don’t want school-choice, they want all of the citizens dumbed down and suckling on the government teat. So, kids don’t get a proper education, teachers get abused, neglected and under paid, and all the while school administration (aka government bureaucracy) spiral upwards, as citizens get to pay the bill!

    This process will be interesting, for citizens will now get another glimpse as to which representatives are truly representing them or the “special interest groups” like TOSS, TSBA and TEA.

  3. Ralph

    This article would be greatly improved if Rep. Mitchell’s rationale had been solicited – particularly since he is seeking to delete a pilot program that hasn’t even begun. Does he object to some specific provisions of the act and did he present those arguments during the course of the debate? Likewise, what was Rep. Sexton’s objections to the bill? Since he is now Speaker of the House, that would be very valuable information to have. Perhaps a synopsis of the debates, at both chambers, might be useful.

    Public schools typically represent a major employer. In Rep. Sexton’s district (overlapped by Sen. Bailey’s), it is the largest employer. So, despite their ostensible conservative credentials, they both voted against the bill. Why? What was their rationale?

    This is not surprising, and supporters of school choice should expect more of this as well as other actions to undermine the program. For example, Section 49-6-2606 provides the annual administration of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests for math and English. How many public school teachers “teach to the exam” simply because that’s the basis on which their performance is evaluated? So an alternative, simply to be competitive, must do the same and/or provide a more comprehensive educational basis.

    Likewise, alternative schools and parents participating in the program are subject to considerable scrutiny lest the funds be spent on any expenses not authorized. Since the parents eligible to participate in the program are low income, it is safe to assume that they will not have the wherewithal to withstand a legal challenge. Nonprofit organizations are authorized to assist the Department in administering this program; how many of those nonprofit organizations will be co-opted by the various teacher’s unions?

    School choice faces the same management dilemma as any other: do you spend your time and energy on the 20% who are not performing in order to bring them up to the minimum standard, or do you direct that time and energy on the 80% who are performing in order to encourage further improvement?

    It’s a worthy program to at least try – does the opposition to the program simply want to keep its recipients dependent on public assistance, from one generation to the next? Understandable, since that is their core constituency. Likewise, the teachers unions typically donate funds to the campaigns of those officials and candidates that subscribe to their agenda – also understandable.

    What is their alternative? More of the same programs that have proven so dismal in the event? Continue to fail both the student and their family? Apparently so.