Tennessee school choice plan likely to be amended in Senate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A key Tennessee Republican says Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed school choice initiative will likely face substantial changes now that the current version seeks to prohibit schoolchildren living in the country illegally from accessing the program.

Sen. Dolores Gresham, who leads the Senate Education Committee, told reporters on Thursday federal law requires every student have access to public education and excluding certain students may result in a legal challenge.

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Gresham, however, praised Lee for pitching a $125 million legislative proposal to expand education savings accounts in Tennessee and remained hopeful the General Assembly would pass the proposal.

If approved, certain families would be allowed to use public funds to pay for private tuition, school supplies and other expenses.

Lee has said he wanted only “legal residents” to access education savings accounts.

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