Gov. Haslam talks school vouchers

11:03 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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We're learning more about Governor Bill Haslam's plan to bring school vouchers to the state, including how it could impact East Tennessee.

Voucher programs allow students access to public funds to attend private schools. Governor Haslam mentioned the plan during Monday's State of the State address, and a bill was filed Tuesday.

The vouchers would be available to 5,000 students next school year, but that number would gradually rise to 20,000.

"Ultimately we're concerned about students, not systems. but we took that into play and that's why we said 'let's grow into this and see what happens.' And if it works and students get a better experience and districts overall improve, then I think we could grow it from there," Haslam said.

In order to get a voucher, the student would have to be eligible for free and reduced lunch, as well as be zoned for a school in the bottom five percent.

Sarah Moore Greene Elementary is the only East Tennessee school on the list of eligible schools.

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