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Legislative Update – March 12, 2018

We’re on the lookout for a lost hour. If you find it, will you let us know?

While you’re looking, we’d like to share a few bills that are up this week in the Tennessee General Assembly. Curious where previously mentioned bills are in the process? Stay tuned for a recap to come next week.

House Resolution 192/Senate Resolution 158 (Hawk/Norris) – Helping every district in the state, this resolution is required in order to recognize additional Response to Instruction and Intervention funding for instructors as a continual component of the Basic Education Program (BEP). Tennesseans for Student Success supports this resolution to help ensure all students have access to the best strategies to keep them on track for success.

House Bill 1694/Senate Bill 1629 (Smith/Gresham)  – Everyone involved in the classroom must be accountable for the success of that classroom. That’s one of the reasons Tennesseans for Student Success supports HB 1694/SB 1629. This bill would require teacher preparation programs to offer remediation services for underperforming graduates and will help ensure teacher preparation programs work collaboratively with school districts so that all teachers have the tools they need for success in the classroom.

House Bill 1870/Senate Bill 1901 (Dunn/Gresham) – We believe in public school choice because every option for success should be available for every student in Tennessee. HB 1870 requires districts to include all students, including those attending public charter schools, when applying for reimbursement funds. It also allows public charter schools to participate in special education services in partnership with nearby schools. Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill so that public charter schools are given available resources to best help all students on their pathway to success.

Our #LearnInThree series continued this weekend with another video featuring Grant Minchew, our Government Relations Director. Take a few minutes and watch as Grant walks us through the state’s yearly assessment. Don’t forget to share it with your networks!

Missing hour or not, thanks for all you do to pack 24 hours of student success into 23 this week!

Tennesseans for Student Success Releases Statewide Polling

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success released today the most recent results from their ongoing voter outreach program.
“Through a yearlong targeted and sustained outreach project, unique from other advocacy organizations in this state, we’ve talked to and surveyed over 135,000 Tennesseans. We asked them to share their thoughts on education, the state’s direction, and if candidates for public office are aligned with their views,” said Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success.

Lister continued: “Over and over again, Tennesseans – across all demographic categories including political ideology, geography, age, or gender – said the same thing: education is a top priority for Tennessee’s elected officials and must be a top priority for any candidate they would support for public office. When asked, voters continue to overwhelmingly support the four policy priorities credited with Tennessee becoming the fastest improving state in the nation in education: high academic standards, an assessment aligned to those standards, accountability in the classroom, and public school choice.”

Tennesseans for Student Success has engaged in this sustained effort to ensure trends in voter interest for various policy issues is accurately measured and not significantly impacted by current political activity or the news of the day. Similar to traditional polls that look to test voter preference or passions, this month-long survey reflects a snapshot in time and reflects voter preference at the time it was conducted. External factors, events, or candidate activity can impact results. Surveying registered voters, 3400 respondents (MoE of 1.7%) from February 1 – March 3, 2018, Tennesseans for Student Success found when surveying Democrats, Republicans, and Independents:

Support high standards: 65%
Support yearly assessment: 70%
Support accountability in the classroom: 79%
Support public school choice: 68%

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Trump is doing?

Approve 51%
Disapprove 42%
No opinion or never heard of 7%
Total 100%

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Vice President Mike Pence is doing?

Approve 52%
Disapprove 34%
No opinion or never heard of 14%
Total 100%

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Governor Bill Haslam is doing?

Approve 57%
Disapprove 24%
No opinion or never heard of 18%
Total 100%

When surveying voters of the Republican and Democrat parties:
Q. If the Republican Primary for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote?

Randy Boyd 20%
Diane Black 14%
Bill Lee 10%
Beth Harwell 8%
Undecided 48%
Total 100%

Q. If the Democrat Primary for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote?

Dean 32%
Fitzhugh 6%
Undecided 62%
Total 100%

Lister: “Education – and the continuation of the right policies and principles that help keep Tennessee’s students on track for success – is a top priority for voters in this state and as they look to elect a new Governor and General Assembly, we will continue our advocacy by encouraging voters to demand their leaders stand up for student success.”

For more information: FebMar_Statewide Large Sample_PublicFebMar_Dem Topline Report_PublicFebMar_GOP Topline Report_PublicEndofMonth_Statewide Report_Public.

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Legislative Update – March 5th, 2018

Did you catch our new video on Facebook or Twitter?

Last week, we launched a new four-week series called #LearnInThree where we take one of our policy priorities, one of our TSS staffers, and one camera. Three minutes later, we’ve broken down some of the big ideas in education reform. We’ll post these four videos on Saturdays in March. We hope you’ll watch and share them with your networks!

Up this week in the General Assembly? Two bills we’re supporting and one we oppose. We also want to extend a big thank you to all of you who contacted your elected officials last week. Keep your eye on our new voter engagement platform – we’ll post new bills throughout the session. Thank you!

House Bill 2030 / Senate Bill 1975 (Forgety/Gardenhire) – We talk a lot here about increasing the opportunities for our high school students to get hands-on, real-world experience in their chosen fields. Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs) and dual enrollment courses are a great way for students to get a head start on their next steps toward success. This legislation would provide EPSOs for students interested in working in advanced integrated industrial technology. Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill and all opportunities that help our students be ready for success.

House Bill 2525 / Senate Bill 2399 (Beck/Kyle) – You’ve heard us say before that politics should stop at a school’s front door and we will always fight politically-motivated legislation that threatens Tennessee’s academic progress. This bill would prevent some public charter schools from receiving the information necessary to help inform parents of public choices available for their children. Tennesseans for Student Success opposes this bill.

Mentioned last week and up in the General Assembly this week:

House Bill 1599 / Senate Bill 1649 (Forgety/Norris) – Like HB 2030, this legislation would improve student access to career and technical education through a high-quality, work-based learning system. By incentivizing business to provide these experiences and clarifying that participating students are covered under the school district’s liability insurance, more students will have access to EPSOs. Tennesseans for Student Success supports this bill.

We say it often, and we mean it more with each passing week – thank you for being invested in the success of every Tennessee student. We couldn’t do this work without you.