TN Legislative Corner
Last week’s tragic tornadoes affected committee activity in the Tennessee General Assembly. Please continue to pray and help where you are able as individuals and families across Middle Tennessee are dealing with the aftermath. Interested in volunteering to help with tornado relief? Here are a few ways to get involved.
This is a busy season in the legislature as final calendars are getting set, and any legislation that will be considered in the 2019-2020 session will be heard over the next few weeks.
Last week, HB 2229, Governor Lee’s literacy initiative, continued to be discussed in CTI Subcommittee. This bill will provide students with the necessary instruction to develop foundational literacy skills that meet Tennessee’s academic standards and developmental expectations. During the CTI Subcommittee hearing last Tuesday, several school and district leaders from across the state who have successfully implemented phonics-based literacy methods and supported teachers with high-quality instructional materials, spoke on the improvements they’ve seen in students ELA scores, in some cases double-digit growth. These education leaders are a part of a statewide network that utilizes innovative practices to improve literacy rates in Tennessee called LIFT Education.
Chris Satterfield, the Director of Schools for Trousdale County, kicked off testimonies by stating, “Our teachers have seen the results of using high-quality curriculum and materials grounded in the science of reading and the difference that it makes for kids… If we can do this work in little Trousdale county, I bet it can be replicated across the state of Tennessee, and I believe it can be done efficiently as well.”
This bill will be heard again in CTI Subcommittee, as well as the Senate Education Committee this week. Please send an email to your legislators urging them to support this bill and Governor Lee’s historic investment in early literacy!
Watch the CTI subcommittee here for more testimonies.
Track progress on other education bills last week here.
For a complete list of education legislation filed by the 111th 2019-2020 General Assembly, click here.
Ongoing Statewide Education Polling on Accountability
Since 2017, Tennesseans for Student Success has talked with more than 150,000 individual Tennesseans as part of its ongoing voter outreach and advocacy to support the policies that are improving public education for the state’s one million students.
Not only must Tennessee’s elected officials keep their foot on the pedal to improve student outcomes, but they must also commit to protecting policies essential to student success, like transparency and accountability.
Our multi-year polling project reinforces what we already know to be true: Accountability is widely supported on all sides and should continue to be strengthened. Our polling data clearly shows that Tennesseans support strong school accountability measures, as well as the A-F letter grade rating system.
Nominate a Middle-Level Education Teacher!
March is Middle Level Education Month! Middle school teachers, administrators, and staff play a special role during a crucial part of student’s lives. We want to celebrate the impact, and unique contribution Middle School teachers, administrators, and staff have on the success of our students as they prepare for college, career, and life.
Tennessee Education Leaders Summer Fellowship
The Tennessee Department of Education is inviting current or incoming teachers in Tennessee to apply for their 8-week summer fellowship program. According to the TDOE, these fellows will have the opportunity to engage with the department’s Best for All strategic plan, build relationships with key leaders, participate in professional development opportunities, and receive a $10,000 stipend.
Applications are due by March 16, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Calendar of Events
March 9th – 2:00PM: House Government Operations Committee
March 10th – 10:30AM: House Higher Education Subcommittee
March 11th – 9:00AM: House Education Committee
In Case You Missed It…
- WTVF: Middle Tennessee students head back to class after deadly tornadoes
- WATE: University of Tennessee students return from Italy after study abroad program suspension amid coronavirus concerns
- Columbia Daily Herald: Tennessee GOP state Sen. Gresham won’t seek reelection
- Knox News Sentinel: UT, Knox County Schools partner to give future special education teachers free tuition
- The Tennessean: WGU survey: Tennesseans back Gov. Bill Lee’s push to expand college education in rural areas
- Chalkbeat: Pro-voucher group launches online school search tool for Memphis and Nashville
- Kingsport Times News: ‘Everything is on the table’: Hawkins teachers, schools could be cut based on new study