General Assembly approves Course Access Program Act

NASHVILLE, (April 19, 2016) — The Tennessee State Senate today passed and sent to Governor Bill Haslam the Course Access Program Act sponsored by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Representative Roger Kane (R-Knoxville). The Course Access program will permit students to enroll in courses offered by other Tennessee state schools if their school of full-time enrollment does not offer that particular curriculum.

The legislation will establish an online catalog of courses offered through the program, so that students statewide may be informed of the opportunities for specialized study that exist beyond their traditional classroom.

Sen. Gresham stated, “It is encouraging to see that lawmakers are responding to the groundswell of support for more innovative options to education reform that put more tools in a student’s toolbox. Course Access allows students, parents, and school systems to partner with one another to share resources and ensure that every child has the same opportunities. I’m excited to be a part of bringing more educational choice to families across our state.”

Rep. Kane added, “I’m proud that the General Assembly has responded to the need for more flexibility in our education system. I think we’re beginning to see a departure from the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching our kids and the embrace of more options that can adequately equip the next generation of leaders.”

Sen. Gresham and Rep. Kane worked with the Beacon Center, Tennessee’s free market think tank, as well as the Department of Education and other state and national education organizations in the passage of this important legislation.

Beacon Director of Policy Lindsay Boyd stated, “We are thankful to Sen. Gresham and Rep. Kane for their constant leadership in pushing meaningful education reforms that put students first. We hope to see the state continue to adopt more innovative solutions to academic reform that allow parents to chart the academic path that best suits their child’s unique needs.”


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