Judges strikes down Tennessee’s school voucher law for only applying to Shelby, Davidson counties

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee’s school voucher law goes against the state constitution, as it only applies to two counties, a Nashville-area judge ruled Monday.

Davidson County Chancellor Anne C. Martin struck down the state’s Educational Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program because the law only applies to Shelby County and Davidson County.

Chancellor Martin ruled the law goes against the state constitution’s Home Rule provision.

Some public school advocates in Memphis have long been against the ESA program.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray, an active opponent of the ESA law, tweeted his support for the judge’s ruling Monday evening.

Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), who supports ESA, said lawmakers who support the program plan to appeal Chancellor Martin’s ruling immediately.

The state’s voucher program began in May 2019 with opposition from lawmakers in both counties.

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