- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill that overhauls how severely disabled children are educated in Tennessee. The Individualized Education Act will turn over roughly $6,600 in education funds to parents to help their children.

Supporters have hailed it as empowering parents whose children don’t do well in special education programs at public school. Critics say it hands money over to parents with few safeguards.

Traditional vouchers give families whose children attend poor-performing public schools a way to pay for private schools. This law gives parents much more freedom to determine how to spend the money.

Under the law, parents will be able to spend the $6,600 on private school tuition or approved therapies.

Haslam signed the bill on Monday.

Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville was the primary sponsor in the Senate.

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