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Legislative Update – February 12, 2018

In honor of Cupid, and in no particular order, here is a list of things we love this week:

♥ More money for education. The Governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018-19 contains another year of good news for Tennessee’s classrooms. If the budget is approved, $211.8 million will be invested in education. We’re excited to see more than $55 million of that new funding marked for teacher salaries. There’s also an additional $13 million into the Basic Education Program to support Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2), supporting students’ individual learning needs. In addition, there will be $6 million to support public charter school facilities.

♥ Great teachers in every classroom. House Bill 1549 would remove red tape from our local school districts, allowing them to attract and retain high-quality teachers from outside of the state. Tennesseans for Student Success supports HB 1549 because we know that having high-quality teachers in our classrooms is the number one factor in student success.

♥ Raising your voice. This week we’re thrilled to host teachers, students, and advocates from across the state for our inaugural Tennesseans for Student Success Day on the Hill. They’ll meet elected officials, network with education leaders, and learn how to raise their voice for Tennessee’s students. Registration for this year’s event is closed, but we hope you’ll follow along at #EdVoices18.

♥ Preparing students for tomorrow’s success, today. February is Career and Technical Education month, and we are proud to be supporting House Bill 1569 as it enables more students to take advantage of CTE courses. Extended career and technical education class sizes for high school students mean more of our graduates will be prepared for success. Tennesseans for Student Success supports HB 1569 and applauds the work to make sure every student is on track for success.

♥ The Olympics. What can we say? We love championing success. Make sure you’re following our social feeds to see our daily Gold Medal for Education. And up-to-date information on bills up this week, committees, and other good things happening in education across the state.

We couldn’t conclude our legislative update for Valentine’s Week without telling you how much we love the support and encouragement you give to Tennessee’s classrooms. We couldn’t do this without you.

Weekly Update – September 25, 2017
Governor Haslam announced the 2016-2017 graduation rate was a record-high 89.1 percent. What’s more, 56% of districts saw their graduation rates increase, 13 districts improved graduation rates by 5 points of more, and 83%  – a three-year high – of students who identify as Black, Hispanic, or Native American students graduated.

We know the rate of graduating students isn’t the only marker of student success, and while these numbers are worth celebrating, there is still work to be done. But, we know there’s value in celebrating success! We’re especially proud of Lake County Schools with the largest jump in graduation rates – increasing 23.1% in one year.

With high academic standards, an assessment aligned to those standards, accountability for everyone involved in the classroom, and more publicly-funded options for students we are confident we’re on the right track for success.

We couldn’t do this work without you. We certainly wouldn’t see gains like these without the great work of Tennessee’s teachers. Last week we spent the day in Knoxville at our inaugural Tennessee Teacher Voices Summit. It was a powerful day of helping teachers find and use their teacher voice to advocate for students. Here’s a great recap from our #VolsVoices hashtag.

Our Middle Tennessee Teacher Voices Summit is in the planning stages. Time outside of the classroom is valuable and we want to be certain every educator can attend. If you know a Middle Tennessee teacher, forward them this email and ask them to fill out this quick survey and let us know the best times to hold these interactive and integral sessions. 
-Tennesseans for Student Success