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Knoxville Small Biz Owner: Rep. Zachary Must Vote Against Vouchers

If Vouchers Aren’t Good for Knox County, Why Are They Good for Tennessee?


In response to Rep. Jason Zachary’s (House District14, Knoxville)  last-minute vote to support Governor Bill Lee’s private school voucher legislation (House Bill 0939 / Senate Bill 0795), Julia Whipple, owner of a ValuTeachers Franchise in Knoxville, released the following statement on behalf of the Tennessee Small Business Alliance:

“My small business, ValuTeachers, works with teachers in public schools to assist them with retirement planning. We serve 41 public schools and in my conversations with teachers, I have heard nothing but worry from them. Teachers are worried about funds being pulled from their schools and schools around the state to unfairly fund private school vouchers. Like me, they do not understand Rep. Jason Zachary’s vote either – if it’s not good for Knox County, why is it good for the rest of the state?

The voucher bill impacts my business, but more importantly, it impacts the retirement security of our teachers. And It’s not just teachers, my husband is an assistant principal in an elementary school and feels under-appreciated that our elected officials, including Rep. Zachary and Gov. Lee, are listening to outside interest groups rather than education professionals.

“I am in full favor of having options of different learning for students, I am not in favor of taking public money out of the public arena. Especially because according to the TEA: ‘Vouchers and radical charter expansion have never shown improved education outcomes.’

As a small business owner, I always consult professionals before making a major business decision. I can’t imagine why Rep. Zachary and Gov. Lee refuse to listen to those who know education best. I urge Rep. Zachary to change his vote and protect our public schools.”