Efforts to Privatize Tennessee Public Schools Persist Despite Legislative Delay

Aggressive advance of charter schools, expansion of vouchers on tap this legislative session

Andy Spears
2 min readMar 22, 2023
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Efforts to privatize Tennessee’s public schools were deferred today in a key House Committee.

The privatization push includes potential expansion of school vouchers into Knoxville and the other would open the doors for charter schools to operate in districts without first being subject to local review.

More from The Education Report:

This bill ( HB433), as currently written, would expand the state’s school voucher program (known as Education Savings Accounts, or ESAs) to Chattanooga. Currently, the voucher scheme only applies to students in Memphis and Nashville.

It’s bad enough that some policymakers are ready to expand this privatization program to another Tennessee school district. However, what’s even more alarming is that Education Administration Committee Chair Mark White has filed an amendment to expand the program even further — this time into Knoxville.

As you might recall, I wrote about an amendment to the charter legislation that would:

  1. Create a scheme for allowing charter schools that serve…

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .