How are IEA Vouchers working out?
Well, at least that is the idea of the program but the reality is much different...
Parents will receive a credit/debit type of card in the mail pre-loaded with money. We are not sure how much money but it’s probably based on your school district’s BEP funding minus some handling fees. All you have to do is sign away all your child’s IDEA federal rights and their right to attend public schools. Then, you get a handy-dandy card loaded with money. And the TDOE even has a helpful suggestion for you.
“Parents are encouraged to put a small sticker on the debit card to identify that the debit card is for the IEA Program only, and, in cases where the account holder has multiple students enrolled in the IEA Program, distinguish which card is assigned to each student.”
So, what if you were a responsible parent who wanted to use your million dollar baby's voucher card at a legitimate school and not a field trip to Disney World, how would that work?
Could you apply for the school of your CHOICE and use the card to pay for tuition? Well, no. That is not how it works!! You would have to choose a school off the state's approved list. Your school choice is limited to the State's list of chosen schools. And there are only seven schools statewide for 2019-2020 school year.
And then, there is Chattanooga Christian School that desires to be a leading Christian school that is distinguished by its redemptive discipleship through rigorous curricular programs promoting Christ-centered critical thinking and co-curricular programs that allow students to fully display their diverse talents and skills while fostering an enthusiastic love for their school community.
You can read for yourself about Silverdale Baptist Academy…
What Can We Expect with ESA Vouchers?
Tipton Christian Academy is a joint ministry with Covington's First Baptist Church, Senator Paul Rose's lifelong church. And it has recently grown from a preschool to a K-12 school. And according to a 2017 article in the Covington Leader, the school received a $1.5M anonymous donation with the stipulation that it be used for a new building. From the looks of the pictures below, it's pretty obvious that Sen. Rose's Construction business got the contract to build the new school.
At the risk of being Momma Bear snarky…. We must say, Sen. Rose apparently has not fully listened to God's wisdom since he failed to realize this bill directly affects two schools in his Senate District 32. Students at Bolton High School and Barrett's Chapel K-8 in Shelby County would be eligible for ESA vouchers under the Senate bill. And these two SCS schools are located less than 30 minutes from Tipton Christian Academy's new K-12 school. That is conveniently close enough for some sheep stealing. So, we will be watching to see if Tipton Christian Academy appears on the TDOE approved list for ESA vouchers.