TN Legislative Corner

Last week was a busy week in Tennessee and it began with Governor Lee giving the State of the State Address at the Capitol. Keep reading to find more information on what he prioritized. 

Both the House and Senate Education Committees continued the critical work of confirming appointments to key boards including the newly established Public Charter School Commission.  

The House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee (CTI) recommended HB 1679, which creates a pathway for the department of education to notify school counselors and admissions officers of the many approved course substitutions available to students as it supports their postsecondary plans. This bill was recommended by CTI with unanimous support and will be heard in the full House Education Committee this week. 

HB 1687, which eliminates academic standards for science and social studies in kindergarten through grade two, is scheduled for a hearing in CTI this week. These standards have recently been reviewed and approved by the State Board of Education. High academic standards are an essential component of student success, and we will be monitoring and engaging in this concerning conversation. For additional information on the Tennessee K-12 standards, click here. Additionally, please take a moment to email your legislator today about why high academic standards matter to you. 

Further, last week marked the bill filing deadlines for the 111th General Assembly.  

The Tennessee General Assembly has introduced numerous bills within the education space this session. Catch up on bills filed last week here. For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.


2020 TSS Day on the Hill

Our #TSSDayontheHill2020 is TOMORROW! We are thrilled to bring educators, advocates, and students from around the state to visit the Tennessee State Capitol to talk with Tennessee lawmakers about the great things happening in our schools and how we can work together to ensure every student has an opportunity to a great public education.  


ICYMI: Governor Lee’s State of the State Address

Last Monday, Governor Bill Lee gave the 2020 State of the State Address to the joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Here’s what our President and CEO, Adam Lister, had to say about it:

“… Tennessee’s kids have a bright future ahead thanks to the governor’s vision and focus on early literacy, improving teacher pay, training, and professional support, and ensuring students are prepared for college and career. Governor Lee reaffirmed his commitment to public education by setting a goal to make ‘Tennessee the best state in America to be a student.’”

During his speech, Governor Lee committed:

  • A $117 million investment in teacher’s salaries, the most substantial single investment in the state’s history.
  • Raising the minimum salary for teachers from $36,000 to $40,000, statewide.
  • $8.5 million to launch the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship, offering 1,000 scholarships to the state’s brightest high school students to train to become a teacher.
  • An investment of $4 million for professional development and innovation advancement opportunities for educators.
  • A new fund to assist in the growth and placement of mental health support in at-risk schools
  • A new, comprehensive approach to literacy drawing from proven methods including phonics-based instruction, coupled with a $70 million investment to establish new standards for the training of new teachers and the development of current teachers.

Click here to view our full statement.


Celebrating CTE Month

February is Career and Technical Education month. CTE is diversified between high schools, area career centers, career academies, community and technical colleges, as well as four-year universities. Through these avenues of education, students choose a career option through 16 different career clusters with 79+ pathways. These programs are critical in Tennessee because they allow high school students to pursue industry certificates and education that a typical college education doesn’t offer, which will, in turn, assist in closing the skills gap.

Read our latest blog on CTE Month featuring Mr. Slight, Principal from West Creek High School in Clarksville, Tennessee.


SCORE Released Priorities for Improving Student Outcomes

Last week, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) released a new report entitled, Expanding Student Success: 2020 State of Education in Tennessee.

At an event with opening remarks from Senator Bill Frist in Nashville, SCORE shared their expanded priorities for improving student outcomes in Tennessee. 

  • Create equitable opportunities for college and career success.
  • Address Tennessee’s literacy crisis.
  • Strengthen teacher preparation and improve teacher pay.
  • Demand, support, and expand strong schools.

Calendar of Events

February 10th 2:00PM: House Government Operations Committee

February 11th – 2020 TSS Day on the Hill

 10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee

      12:00PM: House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Committee

 3:00PM: House Finance, Ways, & Means Committee

      4:30PM: House K-12 Subcommittee 

February 12th9:00AM: House Education Committee

2:00PM: House Appropriations Subcommittee

      2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

February 13th – Governor Bill Lee’s State of West Tennessee Address


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