Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Award Funding to Families Impacted by School Closures, COVID Mandates

Tennessee Senator Mike Bell and Representative Michael G. Curcio


State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) introduced a bill on Monday to award funding to families impacted by school closures or various COVID mandates.

The legislation, SB1647/HB1671, would award vouchers to parents who choose to relocate their child to a different school because of the issues.

“When it comes to education, I firmly believe that school boards and superintendents should be able to set local policy for their own districts, on the same token, parents should be able to decide what the safest environment for their child is instead of expecting state lawmakers to address issues on a case-by-case basis,” Curcio said in a statement to Fox 17 News.

In order to qualify, a student must attend an educational institution that did not offer 180 days of in-person learning or implemented a mask mandate because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Under our current system, only parents who can afford to send their child to a private school have any real option if they are unhappy with their child’s school district,” Curcio added. “Should this bill become law, every parent with an impacted child will have the right to choose how and where their child is educated in Tennessee.”

Similar measures have been implemented across the country. In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey pledged to continue in-person learning in the state. In order to achieve his goal, the governor created the Open for Learning Recovery Benefit program, which will provide up to $7,000 to families who may face unexpected barriers due to school closures.

With the new measures, leaders hope to avoid the negative consequences of remote learning on students that has been demonstrated in numerous studies. For example, one survey from McKinsey and Company noted that minority students were affected the most during the first wave of online learning.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike Bell” by Tennessee General Assembly and photo “Michael Curcio” by Tennessee General Assembly.


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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Award Funding to Families Impacted by School Closures, COVID Mandates”

  1. Ms Independent

    Everyone who has been affected by Covid19 should be compensated with payments coming from China! It’s not just families with school age children who have had their lives upended. Companies went bankrupt and long time employees lost jobs and health insurance.

  2. Kevin

    This is going to hit a raw nerve with the Left AND with the “establishment/swamp” and we’ll get to see the true color of a lot of people and organizations! TSBA, TOSS, NEA, etc, will be doing everything in their power to kill this Bill. They can’t allow parents into the equation; they’ll lose control AND the kids will be better off!

    But the more I think about this, I bet that this Bill is just a “feel good” piece of legislation to make it look like certain “State House leaders” really do care, about the kids, and not about getting to the next rung up the ladder! And it will be silently amended or killed so that it amounts to nothing!

  3. John

    Can I get in on this payday? I’m most definitely impacted by these school closures. There is more traffic with all these teachers and delinquents on the roads during school hours….

  4. rick

    The funding for this payment should come from the teachers unions, superintendents, board members, and mayors. In our mayors case he would just pay property tax to pay this!

    1. rick

      Raise property tax to pay this, sorry!