Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions released a poll indicating about two-thirds of the Tennesseans surveyed favor more school choice in public education. Sixty-six percent of those polled support expansion of charter schools in Tennessee. In addition, 66 percent support the state of Tennessee embracing a voucher program of some sort, with 35 percent support a limited program for low-income families in poor-performance schools. Thirty-one percent favor favor a more expansive statewide program not limited just to the poor or at-risk, according to the poll, which was conducted from may 6-13. Only 26 percent oppose all school vouchers, the university researchers found.
Gov. Bill Haslam briefly addressed those findings in a May 28 interview. The governor and some of his fellow Republicans in the Legislature clashed during the session over the scope of a voucher program the state should consider implementing. The Haslam administration favored a more limited plan, while some Republicans, like Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, pushed for a broader version that would affect more students.