The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday will consider opposing the use of public funds for private schools unless certain conditions are met.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education has already taken a position. In November 2016, the Board of Education said it opposed the taking of funds from public education in any Tennessee community unless the local school board agrees, there is statutory assurance that schools receiving the funds will comply with the same curriculum and testing standards required of public schools, and until the Basic Education Program is “adequately funded” by the Tennessee General Assembly.
There has been increased discussion of the potential use of school vouchers, at least in part because of the nomination and confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the new U.S. education secretary.
In a memo to City Council members, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said the Tennessee General Assembly has debated the merits of implementing a school voucher system for many years as a way to provide quality education for all students in the state.
“This system would allow a freedom of choice for all students to choose to leave their geographical-centered public school to another school, taking the state-allocated funds for that public school system to the new system, be it public or private,” Watson said. [Read more…]