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Legislative Update – February 19, 2018

The highlight of our week last week was hosting teachers, parents, students, and advocates from across the state for our inaugural Tennesseans for Student Success Day on the Hill. From taking meetings with legislators to hearing from Secretary of State Tre Hargett to sitting in on education committees, we had a wonderful time helping Tennesseans raise their voices for student success. Curious what the day was about? Take a look at our pictures and let us know if we can help arrange a visit for you!

We’re watching three pieces of legislation this week. As always, reach out for more information and for ways to raise your voice in support of our students.

Senate Bill 1804 – This bill exempts high-quality educators – with valid teaching licenses in other states – from having to take a licensure test when they make Tennessee their home. Every classroom needs a great teacher, and SB 1804 helps schools attract and retain those great teachers. SB 1804 passed the Senate Education Committee last week and up this week in Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee. Tennesseans for Student Success supports SB 1804.

Take a moment and email the Senate Education Committee and thank them for making sure every classroom has a high-quality teacher!

House Bill 1569 – This bill would extend career and technical education (CTA) class sizes in certain districts across the state. Enabling more students to take advantage of CTE classes helps more students be ready for success when they graduate. Tennesseans for Student Success supports HB 1569.

House Bill 1855 –If you’ve been around Tennesseans for Student Success very long, you’ll hear one of our key beliefs: politics should stop at a school’s front door. HB 1855 is a reactionary and politically-charged bill that keeps the state’s Department of Education tied to the current state assessment structure until 2021. There’s great value in a good and informative yearly assessment to help parents, teachers, and students know where they are and where they are going. We oppose HB 1855 and all efforts to roll back accountability in the classroom.

Be on the lookout for our 2018 Legislative Agenda this week. As we build on the success in supporting Tennessee’s students, teachers, and classrooms over the last few years, we’re committed to continuing that work this legislative season. You’re a key part of our work – thank you for raising your voice for all of our kids.

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.

Legislative Update – January 29, 2018

The state of our State is ….

We’re jumping into your inbox early today to invite you to watch Governor Haslam’s final State of the State address. In this yearly address to a joint legislative session, the governor presents their budget, their goals for the year, and the general state of things in the state.

If we were writing it, we’d spend the whole time celebrating Tennessee’s students, teachers, classrooms, achievements, and growth. We’d celebrate the increase in ACT scores and on-time graduation rates. We’d celebrate the largest investment in education in Tennessee’s history – all without a tax increase. And we’d celebrate Tennessee’s upward trajectory on the Nation’s report card. While we aren’t writing this year’s State of the State address, we will be watching. Watch with us tonight at 6 pm Central and help celebrate Tennessee’s successes in education.

We can’t simply look back on success and the accomplishments of the last decade, but we must keep pushing forward. This week, we are turning our focus to two pieces of legislation that are working through the legislative process. A quick reminder from last year, we’ll share bills each week, share our position, and share a way for you to advocate for them with your elected officials. At the end of the year, in our annual Legislative Scorecard, you can review your legislator’s support of the policies that improve student achievement.

Up this week are:

House Bill 1549 – Sponsored by Representative Terry
One of the biggest markers of success in the classroom? A quality teacher in every classroom. HB 1549 helps clear the way for high-quality teachers to come to Tennessee. Tennesseans for Student Success supports HB 1549.

Senate Bill 250 – Sponsored by Senator Gresham
While Tennessee’s 3rd-12th graders’ growth and achievement is measured, in part, by TNReady, it’s equally as important to make sure our K-2nd graders are on the right track for success. SB 250 allows school districts to use alternative growth models to demonstrate their students’ growth. If we wait until 3rd grade to make sure our kids are prepared for success, it will be too late. Tennesseans for Student Success supports SB 250.

Make sure you’re following our Facebook and Twitter accounts to see when these bills come up for a vote this week. We’ll keep you informed!