Three more Oak Ridge organizations have raised concerns about school vouchers, or the use of public funds for private schools. Some officials expect the issue of vouchers to be raised in the upcoming state legislative session.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education unanimously approved a voucher-related resolution in November. The school board doesn’t think vouchers should be adopted until the state’s Basic Education Program is adequately funded, and until all schools are on the same playing field. That means they would take the same tests and the same students, regardless of disabilities, Oak Ridge Board of Education Member Angi Agle said.
Although it was amended slightly, the resolution approved by the Oak Ridge school board in November “strongly opposes” taking funds from public education in any community in the state without agreement from a local school board, without a legal guarantee that the schools receiving the funds will comply with the same curriculum and testing standards required of public schools, and until the state’s Basic Education Program, or BEP, is adequately funded by the Tennessee General Assembly.
The resolution says the Tennessee General Assembly, the state’s legislature, will consider legislation in 2017 that would use public funds to pay tuition costs for students to attend private, religious, and non-religious schools. [Read more…]