Tennessee voucher-like bill version adds back homeschooling

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee answers questions after the first meeting of his cabinet, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Lee’s voucher-style proposal has restored the option of paying for homeschooling.

A Senate panel advanced the Republican’s key school choice initiative Wednesday. The legislation, expected to cost $125 million over five years, has House and Senate committee stops remaining.

The Senate version would double the cap on the education savings accounts to 30,000 students, instead of 15,000.

The Senate panel kept a provision requiring families to provide a birth certificate, a driver’s license or some sort of government documentation for their children participating in the voucher-style plan. That requirement has drawn legality concerns because states can’t deny free public education because of immigration status.

Under Lee’s proposal, parents below the federal poverty level with students in certain low-performing school districts could receive up to $7,300 in state funds.

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