Tennessee Lawmakers Refuse To Consider Bathroom Rules For Transgender Students

by Jared Lewis March 24, 2017, 0:21
Tennessee Lawmakers Refuse To Consider Bathroom Rules For Transgender Students

But House Speaker Brian Bosma says the bill needs a close review before final approval.

Opponents of vouchers say they hurt public education by diverting money from schools.

The 2017 version of Tennessee's "Bathroom Bill" may not be completely dead, but it is on life-support after failing to get the required motion to be heard in the Senate Education Committee.

Each bill - some are written by Democrats, some by Republicans - has a unique plan to address affordability.

The bill could come up for a Senate vote as early as Tuesday, but would still have to return to the House because of changes made in committee.

UT System Chancellor William McRaven said in his testimony that universities should have a say in writing the targets, but agreed this was a more personalized approach.

ONE LEFT Tennessee lawmakers advocating for vouchers and similar school-choice programs are now rallying behind a single bill.

But the concept has drawn skepticism from some higher education leaders, who have questioned whether tuition increases should be considered an award for good performance. Since giving boards of regents the power to set tuition rates in 2003, the average tuition and fees at public universities has risen on average 148 percent, increasing the burden on family finances. The bill's author, Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis, said the state superintendent of public instruction and attorney general would develop a policy for schools to follow to protect students' religious liberties. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, who proposed the amendment. "When the Legislature does not fund higher education adequately, universities have to turn to revenue sources such as the federal government, or philanthropy, or raise tuition".

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed Senate Bill 1323 which would allow universities to raise the cost of tuition to make up the difference between operating costs and state funding.

A similar bill was withdrawn by its sponsor past year.

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