The Republican-dominated legislature passed a voucher bill that makes private school vouchers available only to students in Metro Nashville and Shelby County (Memphis), whose Democratic representatives opposed it. 

It was a victory for Betsy DeVos, who came to Tennessee to urge psssage of a voucher bill.

Tennessee’s General Assembly passed a compromise education voucher bill on Wednesday targeting only students and districts in Tennessee’s two largest cities and potentially costing $40 million more than was originally announced.

The votes came in the final week of the legislative session and just hours after a conference committee approved the compromise, which also removed homeschoolers from being able to participate in the program.

The passage delivers a major victory to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who wants Tennessee to start giving taxpayer money to eligible families to pay for private school tuition or related education services. It’s also a win for President Donald Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who tweeted their support of Lee’s initiative last week and have urged other states to follow suit….

The program would start in 2021 with up to 5,000 students from Shelby County Schools, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, and the state-run Achievement School District. It would cap eventually with 15,000 students and could cost taxpayers $165 million by 2024, according to a new fiscal analysis released on Wednesday. The initial price tag was $125 million over three years.

Now, students in these districts will have the opportunity to attend schools where teachers are uncertified and where the Bible is the science textbook. As Trump said during the 2016 campaign, he loves the uneducated. In Tennessee, he will have more of them.