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TN Politics: Yes, Republicans Can Impose School Vouchers on Democrat-Run School Districts

The Tennessee Supreme Courtruled this week in the case of whether Gov. Bill Lee's school voucher program violated the state constitution's Home Rule provision by targeting school vouchers specifically to Shelby and Davidson Counties.

Judgesruled 3-2 in favor of the Lee administration, which means the controversial law can take effect. It would give certain low-income students at certain schools a $7,500 voucher to be spent at on private school tuition and books.

Sanford says that while the option to attend an elite school would benefit some academically motivated students, the state redirecting funds from public schools does nothing to improve the quality of public education in Shelby County.

Sanford said the fact that Republicans refused to introduce vouchers into their own districts — and also the ensuing FBI investigation into whether lawmakers were bribed for their votes on the issue — undermines Gov. Lee's argument that a voucher program will actually benefit education in Memphis schools.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.