In case you missed it last week, we launched our brand-new super-exciting, easy-to-use, you-won’t-regret-heading-over-to-look-at, grassroots engagement tool. From this site, you can quickly and efficiently contact your elected officials. Raising your voice in support of Tennessee’s classrooms, and of the policy priorities we announced last week, is a critical part of the work we do together.

Speaking of raising your voice, there are four bills we’re watching this week. While there are plenty of bills that come up in each legislative session, we’ll only share the ones fall under one of our policy priorities in our 2018 Legislative Agenda. At the end of each session, we’ll publish our Legislative Scorecard summarizing each bill we’ve taken a position on and the way your elected officials voted on them.

House Bill 1599/SB 1649 (Forgety/Norris) – We share the same goal – making sure our kids are ready for success when they leave our classrooms. Legislation like HB 1599 helps that goal along. This bill incentivizes Tennessee’s businesses to participate in work-based learning partnerships with local school districts. We are proud to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs), and proud to support HB 1599.

House Bill 1870/SB 1901 (Dunn/Gresham) – Education isn’t one-size-fits-all. Whether enrolled in a traditional zoned school, charter, magnet, or iZone school, it’s critical to student success that each school have equitable access to resources. HB 1870 ensures that charter schools are given equitable access to resources intended to support special education services. We support HB 1870 and the work to make sure every student in Tennessee is ready for success.

House Bill 2203/SB 2589 (Byrd/Hensley) – Championing student growth is about learning and also knowing where they are headed. Tools like End of Course exams (EOCs) help our kids know they are on the right track for success. Parents, teachers, and students need the information from EOCs to make sure they are mastering the Tennessee-specific content we champion in our Tennessee-specific standards. HB 2203 would not only eliminate access to the valuable information that comes from EOCs; it would tie the hands of teachers, students, and parents to make certain their students are mastering what they need to be successful after high school. We oppose HB 2203.

House Bill 1609/SB 2575 (Hill, M./Hensley) – Like the legislation above, HB 1609 would remove EOCs from Tennessee’s classrooms and replace them with a nationalized assessment. We think it’s valuable for Tennessee’s kids to learn Tennessee-specific standards and be tested with a Tennessee-specific assessment. HB 1609 ushers in a national test and throws all our Tennessee work out of the testing window. We oppose HB 1609 and similar efforts to nationalize Tennessee’s classrooms.

We hope you’ll head over to our new outreach portal and share your thoughts, support, and concerns with our elected officials. We’re so grateful you continue to raise your voice for all of Tennessee’s students, teachers, and classrooms.