Senate Republicans reject measure to reassign voucher funding to students in K-12 schools

Funding could have increased teacher pay, student services, said sponsor Sen. London Lamar

Tennessee Senate Democrats
2 min readApr 16, 2024


NASHVILLE — The Senate finance committee, on a party-line vote, rejected an amendment by Sen. London Lamar to reassign funding from Gov. Bill Lee’s voucher scam to the state’s K-12 student funding formula.

Sen. Lamar, D-Memphis, proposed the amendment on Senate Bill 2942, the appropriations act which authorizes the spending in the governor’s budget.

“This amendment would take the K-12 education funding set aside for Gov. Lee’s school voucher program and reassign it to the K-12 student funding formula,” said Sen. Lamar. “There are so many needs our public school system has that this voucher money could be used for — one which being teacher raises.

“Over the last decade, while we have raised teacher salaries, if you compare those salaries to the cost of inflation, the average teacher salary is down 11 percent,” Lamar said. “What we want to do is put our money back into public schools by paying teachers and potentially funding wrap-around services.”

You can watch Sen. Lamar present the amendment here.

Republican members of the committee voted down the amendment before passing the appropriations act on a 9–2 vote.

Senate Bill 2942 is scheduled to receive a vote by the full Tennessee Senate on Thursday.