Archives: March 2019

Weekly Update, March 25, 2019
This Week: Budget, Legislation Updates, Volunteer Opportunities!

This week, critical pieces of legislation make their way through the legislature, and the General Assembly marches toward hearings of Governor Bill Lee’s first-ever proposed state budget, which puts a significant focus on K-12 and postsecondary education initiatives. 

Read below about how to partner with us and Tennesseans from across the state to advocate for policies that help boost student success!

Governor Lee’s Budget Puts Focus on Education

Totaling $37.8 billion, Governor Lee’s first budget proposal has a primary focus on education initiatives. At Tennesseans for Student Success, we are encouraged by the Governor’s emphasis on providing all our students with high-quality education opportunities and support funding that aligns with our priorities:

$25 million for the GIVE Act: We must improve alignment between high school classrooms and the expectations of the global workforce to help employers fill available jobs and secure economic independence. The Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act would build public-private partnerships to provide access to localized technical trainings and more dual enrollment opportunities.
$4 million for the Future Workforce Initiative: As our high school students prepare for postsecondary opportunities and the workforce, it is critical we ensure they are prepared to compete and succeed with students from across the country. This initiative proposed by Governor Lee would increase STEM training in K-12 schools and expand access to AP courses and early postsecondary options for high schoolers.
$12 million for Charter School Facilities: Public education is not one size fits all. Students who attend non-traditional public schools deserve clean, safe school facilities. The Governor has proposed$12 million to promote public charter schools facilities funding.
$71 million for K-12 Teacher Raises: Our K-12 teachers are essential to ensuring our students are prepared for assessments and the demands of postsecondary institutions and the workforce. Governor Lee has proposed $71 million for a 2.5% pay raise for secondary teachers.
$30 million for School Safety: When our students step foot into a classroom in Tennessee, they should feel safe and ready to learn. The Governor has proposed a $30 million investment in our school safety fund for districts with schools that have no school resource officers on duty.

If you support improving education across Tennessee, help us by signing a letter in support of Governor Lee’s proposed budget.

High Quality Charter Schools Legislation Update

HB940/SB796, which is supported by the Lee Administration, would provide a statewide public charter school authorizer.This piece of legislation passed out of the House Government Operations Committee today. On the Senate side, this bill will be heard next in the Senate Government Operations Committee. 

A statewide authorizer would create a structured accountability framework for authorizers working throughout Tennessee while increasing the number of high-quality public charter schools across our state.

Volunteer with Us!

Help us celebrate Assistant Principals Week!
We will be celebrating Assistant Principal’s April 8- 12 by stopping by schools with a special treat for them and the staff. Nominate an Assistant Principal you think is doing a great job!

Join Tennesseans for Student Success on Thursday, March 28th from 5pm – 6pm at District Coffee in Nashville.
We will be discussing current and upcoming legislation and how it affects our schools. Come network with others passionate about education in Middle TN. Complimentary food and coffee/tea will be provided and parking is FREE. Register here!

Use Your Voice
Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here
Weekly Update, March 18, 2019
Legislative session is in full swing, and we are monitoring key pieces of legislation to help ensure a focus on students remains at the forefront of educational progress in Tennessee.

Students Must Be at Forefront of Educational Progress

Our President and CEO, Adam Lister, recently penned an editorial in the Knoxville News Sentinel about how our state is “building a cathedral of opportunity” for students, and is poised to do even more to ensure students are prepared for the future.

Governor Lee’s GIVE Initiative Making Way Through Committees

Recently, we expressed our support of the Governor’s GIVE Initiative (HB949/SB805), which will make on-the-job training and dual enrollment opportunities more accessible for high school students to help better prepare them for postsecondary success.

The House Education is set to hear this piece of legislation on Wednesday. After a majority passage in the Senate Education Committee last week, the bill is on the calendar for the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee for Tuesday.

Proposed Legislation to Update Charter School Authorization Process

On Wednesday, HB940/SB796 is calendared to be heard in the House Education Full Committee. Supported by the Lee Administration, this piece of legislation would provide a statewide public charter school authorizer. 

A statewide authorizer would increase the number of high-quality seats in public charter schools across Tennessee, address chronic facility issues in many low-income neighborhoods, and create a structured framework for the numerous authorizers working in Tennessee.

The bill is also set to be heard in the Senate Education Committee this week.

Tristar Reads Starting Soon!

Tristar Reads, a summer reading program that invites Tennessee students ages 5-18 to spend at least 20 minutes with a book each day, will be gearing up in the coming months.
Please keep an eye out for more details coming soon, and plan to help us make Tristar Reads another huge success this year!

Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here
Weekly Update, March 11, 2019
There is only one you. Recently, at the Tennesseans for Student Success Day on the Hill, our advocates heard from members about the importance and value of their voice and using it to influence public policy. 

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we have built an advocacy tool that gives you an opportunity to easily and efficiently send messages to your elected officials on key pieces of legislation impacted public education in Tennessee. 

 As this year’s session picks up its pace, take an opportunity to send a message today in support of the GIVE Act! We believe this legislation is an important step toward making sure every student in Tennessee has an opportunity to succeed when they leave our classrooms by giving students more opportunities to reach on-the-job training or dual enrollment credits while in high school. 

Use Your Voice

Want to learn more about TSS and our legislative agenda? Visit our advoacy center here
Legislative Update: Governor Lee’s First State of the State Address

Just a few days ago, Governor Bill Lee gave his first State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly. In a speech that lasted only about an hour, Governor Lee laid out a bold agenda, building on the bipartisan legacy of Governors Bredesen and Haslam, to drive positive generational change for Tennessee’s kids. 

Governor Lee, in making education his top policy and budgetary priority, announced increases in career readiness programs through the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE Act) which will expand dual-credit and work-based learning opportunities for high school students. He also called for additional investment in STEM courses statewide as a strategy to prepare high school graduates for postsecondary or their career. 

The Governor, recognizing the value a high-quality teacher has on student learning, has called for an investment of $71 million dollars to increase teacher salaries. 

Finally, Governor Lee doubled down on innovation in education by proposing a 100% increase in facilities funding for public charter schools and recommending strategies that make it easier to expand the number of high-quality seats across the state while also holding accountable schools that are not preparing our students for their futures. 

If you missed the Governor’s speech, you can view it here online. 
Use Your Voice

Don’t forget to visit our advocacy center to learn more about the issues we support and engage with the policy issue that matter to you!