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Tennessee School Voucher Bill Fails to Garner Support From Lawmakers

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A bill that would have allowed Tennessee parents to use vouchers to move their children from a failing public school to a private school stalled in the state's House of Representatives this week.

The school voucher legislation proposed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam was pulled from the House finance committee Tuesday, according a story from the Associated Press. Although the state Senate passed the bill this month, lawmakers in the House didn't have enough votes to pass the measure.

The Tennessee Choice and Opportunity Scholarship Act would have funded vouchers for students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. Chalkbeat Tennessee reports that most of the students who would have been eligible for vouchers live in Memphis.

Alexia Poe, the governor's spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that Haslam recognized that passing the legislation would be a challenge because some lawmakers wanted a broader voucher bill while others "didn't want a bill at all."   

Rep. Bill Dunn believes that the political pressures associated with this year's elections may have contributed to the bill's demise, according to the story. Haslam is running for re-election. Still, Dunn said the voucher bill will likely return to the legislature next year. 

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