Individualized Education Account Program
The Individualized Education Act, adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2015 (Public Chapter 431), creates the Individualized Education Account Program and related accounts (IEAs) for eligible students with disabilities to use for educational purposes. The program provides options for parents and students to choose the education opportunities that best meet their unique needs through access to public education funds. As January 18, 2017, the only Memphis-area IEA participant was Madonna Learning Center.
For more information or to find out if you qualify, visit the TN Department of Education website.
Note: A child must have attended a Tennessee public school for at least two semesters preceding the semester in which the student receives an IEA or be enrolling in a Tennessee school for the first time.
Tennessee voucher bills
In spring 2017, the state legislature debated the topic of school vouchers* for the seventh straight year. A bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, and Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, slowly made its way to the House Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee before being pushed to the 2018 legislative calendar.
In December 2017, Brooks and Kelsey announced that they would not pursue a school voucher bill in 2018, so the fate of vouchers in Tennessee is on hold indefinitely. For more information, read this December 2017 article from The Tennessean.
*State-funded vouchers, no matter the scope, allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools.