Taking Tennessee taxpayer funds away from public schools and giving those funds to private schools - whether you call it "vouchers" or Opportunity Scholarships" - doesn't add up.
A good overview of the plans can be found here at Metropulse.
Other phrases being used in debates include "reform" and "choice" but the bottom line is - does this voucher plan aid students or private schools most?
State Democrats, via Roy Herron, offered the following this week:
"Tennessee is making gains in graduating high school students. Between 2002 and 2010, the state graduation rate went from 59.6 to 80.4 percent, gaining an average of 2.45 percent a year between 2006 and 2010. [Commercial Appeal, 2/25/13]
"And what are these “good schools” they’re talking about giving (with our tax dollars) “scholarships” to? They are private schools.
"Now, if it’s “school choice” you want, we’ve already got that in Tennessee. Nancy and I had the “choice” to send our children to any number of schools, including any number of public and private schools. That’s legal in Tennessee right now.
"We’ve got Governor’s Schools, Magnet Schools, STEM schools, public charters, private schools, and regular public schools like our three sons attended. And I know something about the quality of education they got—and so do their college professors."