President Donald Trump showed his support for Tennessee legislation that would create a school voucher-style program for the state.
The president tweeted Wednesday night, urging lawmakers to 'get this done':
Trump has made supporting similar national initiatives during his presidency a top priority, most notably the 'Education Freedom Scholarship Program,' which would budget $5 billion yearly over a decade to create a federal tax credit program to more easily allow parents to send their kids to private schools.
The Tennessee bill, which is now heading to the Senate, would allow families to take public dollars to pay for private school tuition and other expenses. Gov. Bill Lee advocated for creating the education savings account -- saying he wants to devote more than $37 million in the upcoming fiscal year to increase school choice throughout the state.
The bill has been largely contentious, narrowly passing a House vote Tuesday after a 49-49 deadlock was broken when Rep. Jason Zachary of Knoxville flipped his vote on the electronic tally board, passing the measure 50-48.
Zachary later said he eventually agreed to the change because Speaker Glen Casada promised him the final version of the voucher bill would exempt his elected home seat of Knox County from being able to distribute education savings accounts.
Zachary and some other lawmakers want their home counties removed from the program. Some fear that participating local public schools would receive fewer public dollars in the voucher program.
However, the House version that advanced Tuesday includes Knox County and three others in the voucher program. Currently, no legislation exists that would fulfill Casada's promise to Zachary. Instead, GOP leaders say they'll need to tinker with the voucher bill moving through the Senate.