Press Release, NASHVILLE, TN- In a display of overwhelming legislative support, StudentsFirst Tennessee proudly welcomed the backing of twenty House lawmakers who have signed on to HB 1049, the Tennessee Choice and Opportunity Scholarship Act, as co-sponsors. The news follows on the heels of a petition delivered this morning by pastors and faith leaders containing over 25,000 signatures in favor of Opportunity Scholarships, as well as yesterday's poll showing that nearly 60% of registered Tennessee voters support a state school choice law.
Applauding the news, StudentsFirst Tennessee State Director Brent Easley made the following remarks:
Across the state and at the Capitol, it is becoming increasingly clear to both citizens and policymakers alike that more needs to be done to help families trapped in underperforming schools. For too long, status quo restrictions have confined thousands of educationally at-risk students to schools that may not meet their needs and relegated parents to the sidelines when critical decisions are made about their own children's education. News of yesterday's poll assessing voter support for parental choice at nearly 60%, combined with this morning's 25,000-signature petition, provides tangible proof that clear majorities of Tennesseans agree. Now, as twenty leading members of the Tennessee House of Representatives lend their names in sponsorship of the Choice and Opportunity Scholarship Act, it is clear that a growing number of legislators stand ready to move this needed policy forward.
HB 1049 has been placed on notice for a vote in the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee on March 3rd, 2015. The Senate companion bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee the following day.