Competing school voucher bill gearing up in Legislature

10:42 AM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
Gov. Bill Haslam conducts a budget hearing with the Tennessee Department of Correction on Nov. 13. Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield outlined his proposed budget and answered the governor's questions. / Steven S. Harman / The Tennessean
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By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee has some competition.

The Republican governor's measure would limit the program to 5,000 students in failing schools in the academic year that begins in August, and grow to 20,000 by 2016.

But Republican Sen. Delores Gresham of Somerville has filed a proposal that seeks to increase the income limit for eligibility to about $75,000 for a family of four, up from the $42,643 envisioned by Haslam's proposal. The bill also has no limitation on growth.

When reporters asked Gresham about her proposal Wednesday evening, she said she had talked to Haslam about the competing proposals, but didn't elaborate on what was discussed.

Haslam said earlier Wednesday that he believes his measure is the "right one."

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