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Profiting The Prophet?: Tenn. Legislators Fear Voucher Bill Will Subsidize Islamic Schools

Yesterday Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam abruptly pulled a private school voucher bill after some legislators refused to give him assurances that they would not try to alter the bill in ways Haslam does not support.

This is a good thing. Vouchers are a bad idea that distract from meaningful education reform.

But other voucher proposals are still pending in the legislature, so the issue is not dead in Tennessee. Read more

Weak Week: School Voucher Boosters Launch ‘Choice’ Propaganda Drive

It’s “School Choice Week.” This event was drummed up by a coterie of sectarian interest groups and right-wing ideologues that don’t like public schools and want to replace them with taxpayer-subsidized religious and other private schools.

Of course, school choice boosters don’t come right out and say that. They pretend School Choice Week is about all kinds of “educational choice” – everything from charter schools to homeschooling. Lurking behind the curtain, however, is an uncomfortable truth: This is mostly about vouchers. Read more

Voucher Vortex: Tenn. Officials Being Sucked Into Controversy Over Private School Aid

Some Tennessee legislators are big on vouchers, and they prodded Gov. Bill Haslam to establish a nine-member task force to study tax subsidies for religious and other private schools. Unfortunately, its members have promptly blundered into a minefield.

Details can be messy things. The task force wrangled over questions such as accountability, how to ensure that students in voucher schools are getting a good education and how much vouchers should be worth. Read more

Monkeying Around: Tenn. Governor Refuses To Confront Unconstitutional Creationism Bill

Recently a bill reached the desk of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam that would encourage public school teachers to discuss the alleged “controversy” over evolution and offer them legal protection if they teach creationist concepts.

Haslam indicated that he opposed the so-called “monkey bill,” but he refused to veto it. Instead, he allowed it to become law without his signature. Read more