TN Legislative Corner

The 2020 legislative session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon on Tuesday, January 14th. Here at TSS, we are passionate about keeping Tennesseans up-to-date on the happenings inside the Capitol and how it impacts student success in the classroom.

Each week, we’ll send pertinent information and updates from the hill, links to live streams of education committee action, and details of bills or amendments that are important for students.

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Education Committee Insight

Fast Facts:

  • House Education Committee is chaired by Rep. Mark White (R-83) with 24 members on the committee. House Education has 3 subcommittees: Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation, Higher Education, and K-12. 
  • Senate Education Committee is chaired by Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-26) with 9 members on the committee.  
  • If you missed the House Education Committee’s gaveling in on January 15th, we’ve linked the video stream for you to check it out here. We appreciate Chairman White’s welcoming remarks, beginning with recognizing and appreciating the hard-working teachers across our state. He then set the tone for a productive session where members “work together to put the very best legislation forward that will support our teachers, our schools, but most of all our students,” asking members to “lay aside our politics and do what is best for the students of our state.” At Chairman White’s request, Rep. John DeBerry offered a moving prayer asking that the committee be granted wisdom, courage, and the ability to stay focused on the mission. He asked that each member be “dedicated to a better future for each and every person that we serve.”  
  • The Tennessee General Assembly got right to work this year and introduced numerous bills within the education space. Catch up on bills filed in January here.
  • For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.

Welcome Back Your Elected Officials

It’s critical we let our elected officials know that we care about the decisions they make that impact students and we will be paying attention. Please take a few moments to send a welcome back email introducing yourself as an education advocate and reminding them of the important work they do for students. Our elected officials want to hear from you! 

As our state legislators gather in Nashville this January, let them know you believe that every student in every classroom deserves the best education possible.


#TSSPriorities: Higher Standards

Tennesseans for Student Success is kicking off the 2020 legislative session by outlining our policy pillars and how they affect student success. Our five pillars are higher academic standards, an aligned assessment to those standards, protecting accountability, innovation in education, and securing economic freedom for all. 

Why Higher Standards Matter: 

High academic standards that set clear goals for what students should learn are necessary to prepare students for success in a 21st-century economy. From Kindergarten to graduation, today’s students need a strong foundation and a variety of skills and abilities to be successful in their chosen next steps. Upon graduation, they will enter the workforce, complete a professional certification at a technical school, serve in America’s Armed Forces, or earn a degree from a college or university. Whatever the path, students must be ready to achieve, learn, and grow. High academic expectations in today’s classrooms prepare students to reach their fullest potential and to thrive as they pursue tomorrow’s opportunities for success.

Watch Dr. Rachel P. Cornett, K-5 Academic Interventionist at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as she highlights how high academic standards taught at every grade-level help ensure Tennessee’s students are able to exceed expectations and continue on the pathway to success.


Calendar of Events

January 21st – 12:00PM: House Education Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee

4:30PM: House Education K-12 Subcommittee

January 22nd – 2:30PM: Senate Education Committee

 5:00PM: House Education Committee

January 27-31st – National School Choice Week

January 28th – TSS Legislative Welcome Breakfast for members of the TN General Assembly and their staff

February 11th2020 TSS Day on the Hill


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