Dr. Steve Flatt, a task force member who is president of David Lipscomb University in Nashville, declared the proposal "grossly unfair" to private colleges because the basic scholarship for students attending private colleges is $2,000 rather than the $4,000 for those attending state-supported institutions.
Others complained that the proposal lacks special financial incentives for those entering the fields of teaching or nursing, where shortages are developing, and that the scholarship could drop dramatically with only a small increase in family income.
Still others argued that the scholarship program costs - estimated at $222 million per year under the draft plan - should be held down to leave enough money for funding programs that benefit kindergarten-through-12th grade education.The lottery amendment to the state constitution that was approved in November specifies scholarships are the first priority for lottery profits, but any excess can go to "early childhood intervention" programs for youngsters or construction of K-12 facilities. Flatt
, representing private colleges on the panel, said that the $2,000 difference between public and private schools would encourage students to abandon private schools and drive up taxpayer spending at public institutions.