(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) has successfully negotiated with Governor Lee to ensure there will be no negative financial impact on both the Johnson City and Washington County Schools systems resulting from proposed legislation that creates an Education Savings Account (ESA) pilot program.
As part of the negotiations, Hill was able to offer an amendment to House Bill 939 that guarantees the ESA pilot program is strictly limited to just four Tennessee counties — Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Shelby Counties and will be capped at 30,000 students. These school districts have been historically recognized in the bottom 10 percent of all schools in the state and across our country.
Hill’s amendment also includes additional grant funding to support his local school districts to ensure they have access to additional resources that will enable them to be successful and support the academic goals and dreams of Tennessee’s next generation of leaders.
“After weeks of conversations with our teachers, superintendents, school board members, and parents, it was clear we needed legislation that protected our local schools from potential negative financial impacts related to the proposed Education Savings Account legislation,” said Deputy Speaker Hill. “I appreciate Governor Lee and Speaker Casada taking into consideration the concerns of my community and all rural Tennessee communities by crafting a bill that best addresses the needs of students at our failing schools, while also protecting our local school children and their teachers.”
“Deputy Speaker Hill played an important part in negotiations with Governor Lee as this bill evolved to ensure his school systems were not unintentionally harmed by this proposed legislation,” said Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin). “He is a passionate advocate on behalf of his students, teachers, and schools, and I appreciate his dedication to the future leaders of our state.”
House Bill 939 advanced out of the House Finance, Ways, & Means Committee Wednesday night. It will now head to Calendar & Rules to be scheduled for a future vote in the House chamber.
Matthew Hill serves as Deputy Speaker for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. Hill is also Chairman of the House Ethics and House Select Committees on Rules, Chairman of the House Tenncare Subcommittee, and a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Finance, Ways, & Means, House Health, and House Insurance Committees, as well as the House Finance, Ways, & Means and Public Health Subcommittees. Hill lives in Jonesborough and represents Tennessee House District 7, which includes part of Washington County.