September 30, 2020 – The following is a statement by Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators Chairman G. A. Hardaway on the ruling that Governor Bill Lee’s ESA program, passed last year by the State Legislature, is unconstitutional. The Tennessee Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed a lower court ruling against the law because it only applies to Nashville and Memphis. Chairman Hardaway says:
“No matter what an individual legislator’s intent may have been in supporting vouchers, the voucher/ESA bill was flagrantly unconstitutional; it blatantly discriminated against little Black children and disadvantaged children; and it would have further accelerated the re-segregation of Tennessee schools.
The best school choice, a choice that all Tennessee children and parents and citizens expect and deserve, is an adequately funded, world class public school system.
STOP EXPERIMENTING ON CHILDREN OF COLOR AND DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN OF LOW AND MIDDLE SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS.
IF VOUCHERS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR COMMUNITIES; THEY’RE CERTAINLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR OUR CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITIES!I challenge Governor Lee and urge my Tennessee General Assembly colleagues to respect and obey the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in ‘Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka’ and STOP DISCRIMINATING AGAINST LITTLE BLACK GIRLS AND BOYS IN TENNESSEE!”