Gov. Bill Haslam's annual budget proposal seeks to boost public education performance in Tennessee with a little help from private schools.
In his State of the State address, the Governor said Tennessee is literally putting its money where its mouth is.
But his idea of scholarships for some students to private schools is running into resistance.
There are five schools in Hamilton county that could be affected if Governor Bill Haslam's proposed voucher program is adopted.
The idea is to issue limited vouchers to impoverished students is low-performing schools that could be used at private schools in the county.
GOV. BILL HASLAM, (R) TENNESSEE "If we can help out lowest income students in our lowest performing schools..why wouldn't we? "
The voucher program would be capped at 5-thousand students this year---expanding to 20-thousand in two years.
But it has some educators scratching their heads.
LaFrederick Thurkill is principal of one of the low performing schools..Orchard Knob Elementary.
LAFREDERICK THIRKILL, PRINCIPAL, ORCHARD KNOB ELEMENTARY "There's tons of research out there that shows that charter and private schools students do not out perform public school kids."
The Hamilton county education association has been studying the proposal also.
SANDY HUGHES, PRESIDENT, HAMILTON CO. EDUCATION ASSOCIATION "The number one problem is its taking public dollars to pay a private institution when that money was earmarked originally for public education ..public education ..Its for the general good of the entire citizenry."
Some state lawmakers have already predicted such a program would fail and lead to even lower scores at troubled schools.
LAFREDERICK THIRKILL "We just want to make sure we get the same support that is given to charter schools and private schools to insure our students are receiving the best that they can..a high quality education ."
The governor maintains there are 83 low-performing schools across the state that would benefit from that 38-million dollar program.
Hamilton county has 5 of them.
The private school voucher proposal is similar in some ways to the No Child Left Behind Program which was unpopular with many educators.