Fight continues for school vouchers - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fight continues over private school vouchers for low-income children

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The house bill and accompanying senate bill were sent to their respective education committees Wednesday. The house bill and accompanying senate bill were sent to their respective education committees Wednesday.

(WMC-TV) - School vouchers, under The Tennessee Choice and Opportunity Scholarship Act, becoming law would impact many students in the Mid-South.

The house bill and accompanying senate bill were sent to their respective education committees Wednesday.

Reverend Dwight Montgomery and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference started fresh off in Nashville to rally support for legislation that would provide vouchers, each worth $6,500, to certain students to attend private schools.

"We just want to make sure that the vouchers or scholarships go to the low income African-American children in the community who are not learning in the present learning environment. They need to learn," said Montgomery.

The NAACP does not support the plan, claiming vouchers have not worked in other states; they imply perhaps the money might be better spent improving public schools instead of removing students from them.

The Catholic Diocese in Memphis, on the other hand, supports the legislation.

Thirty-three private institutions belong to the Memphis Association of Independent Schools. MAIS discussed the matter thoroughly but ultimately decided not to take a position one way or the other.

The same goes for the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools.

State legislators expect to soon be considering two bills: One offering vouchers to students in schools in the bottom five percent of schools statewide and the other to students at bottom 10 percent of failing schools.

"Whatever is in the best interest of these children being educated. I am for education, period," said Montgomery.

The general assembly's bill information web page does not indicate when the education committees will discuss these bills. Similar legislation failed last year.

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